Kinross Gold Corp. says it will mount a legal defence of its Maricunga mine in Chile, which faces the loss of its water source in a drought-ridden part of the country if an environmental regulator gets its way.
The Toronto-based company says a drop in groundwater levels in the area is unrelated to its mining operation, which it says relies solely on water from wells in the Pantanillo area within the Atacama Region.
"Kinross wishes to also underscore that the Atacama region has suffered from a protracted drought for many years, resulting in a drop in groundwater levels across the region that is unrelated to (Maricunga's) operations," it said in a statement
Its says its Maricunga subsidiary and the regulator SMA want the Environmental Tribunal in Santiago to address the issue and render its decision on an expedited basis.
Meanwhile, the mine continues to operate normally.
Kinross says it's committed to responsible environmental management and has spent years studying, understanding and limiting the impact of its water use.