Desalination EIS submitted for Chilean iron mine

Chile’s iron and steel group CAP has completed an environmental impact study for a 17,000-35,000 m³/d seawater desalination plant in the Atacama region, the company announced in mid-November.

The project, which is expected to cost US$ 248 million, is scheduled to be in operation by 2012. Its size could be increased to 50,000 m³/d.

The plant with subsea intake and outfall will be located near Puerto Totoralillo. A 120 km aqueduct will then transfer the water to CAP’s Cerro Negro Norte iron mine in the Copiapo Valley.

A desalination project is already being considered for Chile’s biggest mine, Escondida, owned by BHP Billiton.