The president of the National Mining Society (Sonami), Diego Hernández, described the Codelco board’s decision to resolve the scheduled closure of the Ventanas smelter as a “hasty” measure and “of enormous magnitude in its effects”. in view of its incidence in the pollution episodes in the bay of Quinteros-Puchuncaví.
The helmsman of the mining union affirmed that the closure is “a hasty measure and of enormous magnitude in its effects, not only economic and productive, but also social”, while declaring his concern every time that “the economic and social cost of closing Windows it is much higher than the cost of investing in a new smelter that complies with environmental regulations.”
Likewise, Hernández stated that “the easiest measure has been adopted instead of designing viable technical solutions that do not involve closing this facility, throwing away all the investment that has materialized,” although he did not provide ideas in that regard. In statements collected by El Mercurio, the head of Sonami was concerned about the situation in which the workers will be left, since, although they will be protected by a government plan, all of them will hardly “be able to get a nearby job and could eventually be transfers to more distant areas with the consequent impact on their family life”. Another source of concern is the impact on small and medium-sized mining, as well as industrial suppliers, since Enami represents 34% of the supply of concentrates to the smelter.
This closure will require, in return, a short, medium and long-term investment plan, Hernández said. “It is striking that this measure was announced on a Friday at the last minute before a holiday and, on the other hand, that despite the fact that President Boric’s government program considers increasing smelting capacity in Chile, the first measure that was announces is the closing of the Ventanas foundry, it is something that is not understood”, he asserted.