25m wide, 200m deep sinkhole suddenly appears in Chile puzzling authorities

How strange.

Belmont Lay | August 03, 2022, 06:34 PM

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A sinkhole about 25m in diameter suddenly appeared over the weekend in a mining area in Chile, about 665km (413 miles) north of the capital, Santiago.

Chilean authorities are investigating the cause of it.

Media in Chile showed aerial images of the hole on land mined by Lundin Mining, a Canadian company.

The national service of geology and mining, Sernageomin, became aware of the sinkhole on Saturday, July 30.

Specialist personnel were sent to the area, said the agency’s director David Montenegro.

“There is a considerable distance, approximately 200 metres (656ft), to the bottom,” Montenegro said.

“We haven’t detected any material down there, but we have seen the presence of a lot of water.”

Sernageomin reported that the areas from the entrance to the work site of the Alcaparrosa mine, located near the sinkhole, have closed.

Lundin Mining said on Aug. 1 the sinkhole did not affect any workers or community members and had “remained stable” since it was first detected.

“Upon detection, the area was immediately isolated and the relevant regulatory authorities notified. There has been no impact to personnel, equipment or infrastructure,” the statement read.

Lundin Mining said a technical analysis was underway to determine the cause of the event: “The closest home is more than 600m (1,969ft) away while any populated area or public service are almost a kilometre away from the affected zone.”

Lundin Mining owns 80 per cent of the property and the rest is held by Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation.

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