Anglo American began the environmental permit process for the US $ 3 million project, which seeks to maintain the production of Los Bronces copper star deposits in Chile.
The Los Bronces Integrated (LBI) project, which according to the company promised not to affect glaciers, biodiversity or increase water use in the Cordilleran region near the capital of Chile, will be carried out in part by underground mining.
"LBI is an initiative to replace low grade ore with other copper ores with higher copper content, to maintain the current level of deposit production," the company said in a statement on Friday.
Several mining companies in Chile are working on an improvement project to overcome wear on the mineral content of their deposits.
Anglo American does not make a projection when permission can be approved, after which it must be submitted to the board for approval.
"We believe that this is a proposal that ensures coexistence in the interests of all actors in the mountainous region.
The expansion of Los Bronces has been under the microscope of social groups and authorities due to concerns about its impact in the area around Santiago.
The company's copper chief, Hennie Faul, added that the plan was "the best choice for mining development from an environmental and social perspective".
The project consists of two parts, one operational continuity such as current open pit and other underground mines, which will replace about 20% of mine resources and will operate at an average depth of 660 meters above the surface.
Underground operations will be under the northeastern edge of Yerba Loca Nature Sanctuary. Anglo American Sur, which consists mainly of Los Bronces production, reached 422,200 tons of copper in 2018. Anglo has partners in the initiative to declare giant Codelco.