Our Biodiversity Standard, which we are currently in the process of updating, is aligned with the ICMM’s position statement on Mining and Protected Areas. It has three goals: to prevent or minimise impacts on biodiversity, to restore or provide appropriate compensation for any impact, and to generate additional benefits for the areas where we operate.
The Choapa Valley, where Los Pelambres is located, is particularly rich in biodiversity. In response, the operation protects and conserves an area of more than 27,000 hectares, equivalent to seven times that used by the mine and its related installations. The protected area includes four nature sanctuaries:
- Laguna Conchalí
This coastal wetland, which was abandoned before Los Pelambres undertook its restoration, is a key staging area for migratory birds. Located 4 km north of the town of Los Vilos, it is one of Chile’s 16 RAMSAR sites.
- Monte Aranda
The principal value of this nature sanctuary, close to Los Pelambres, is its populations of the Chilean palm, an endemic species classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In 2020, Los Pelambres completed the planting of 207 hectares of native vegetation in compliance with a commitment under one of its RCAs and as part of a broader initiative to reforest a total area of 1,500 hectares.
- Quebrada Llau-Llau
Also close to Los Pelambres, this sanctuary is home to some of the Coquimbo Region’s endangered species such as the white Chilean myrtle, a flowering plant, and the canelo or winter’s bark tree.
- Cerro Santa Inés
This site was acquired for conservation by Los Pelambres in 2014 and declared a nature sanctuary by the Chilean government in July 2020. It contains a relict rainforest that has survived, despite the area’s semi-arid climate, thanks to the coastal fog that often enshrouds the hill. It has an important population of olivillo trees, an evergreen species usually found in wetter southern Chile.
The Group is implementing specific conservation programmes for bird, animal and plant species in its operations’ areas of influence. Of these, one species - the gaviotín chico, a type of tern - is classified as endangered by the IUCN while other bird and plant species are classified as vulnerable.
Both Los Pelambres and Centinela monitor the marine environment (water quality, sediments and flora and fauna) in the vicinity of their port facilities, located in Los Vilos and Michilla, respectively. In Los Vilos, Los Pelambres is supporting a project to repopulate the Conchalí Bay with the erizo rojo (Chilean sea urchin), loco The Choapa Valley, where Los Pelambres is located, is particularly rich in biodiversity. In response, the operation protects and conserves an area of more than 27,000 hectares, equivalent to seven times that used by the mine and its related installations. The protected area includes four nature sanctuaries: (Chilean abalone), mussels and other shellfish. In addition, it is participating in a public-private initiative to farm congrio, a popular fish, with a view to the implementation of a long-term repopulation plan.