Giant hole in Chile continues to grow; what is known and what remains to be known | World

The hole, which at first was 25 meters in diameter, continues to grow. This Friday (26), Gabriel Boric, president of Chile, visited the site to monitor the investigations.

Read the answers to the questions below in this article:

  1. where the hole appeared
  2. What’s in the region?
  3. How did the hole come about?
  4. How big is the hole?
  5. When was the hole identified?
  6. What’s in the hole?
  7. What measures have already been taken?
  8. What are the risks?

1. Where did the hole appear?

In the Atacama Desert, in a region called Tierra Amarilla, about 665 kilometers north of the capital Santiago.

The location where the hole appeared has copper mines and is mainly exploited by the Canadian company Lundin Mining LUN.TO, which owns 80% of the property. The rest is controlled by Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining and Sumitomo Corp.

It is not known exactly how the hole came about, but the mayor of Tierra Amarilla, Cristobal Zúñiga, told local media that it is a consequence of the unconscious and excessive extractive activities that are carried out in the area.

Although the government has accused Lundin of being responsible for what happened through overexploitation of the site, a senior executive at the company told Reuters that further studies were needed to determine the origin of the crater.

4. How big is the hole?

Initially, officials said the hole was 25 meters in diameter. Now we talk about 50 meters in diameter. The distance to the bottom is almost 200 meters.

According to Reuters, the Space Needle, a tower with an observatory at the top in Seattle, USA, would fit comfortably in the hole, as would six statues of Christ the Redeemer, facing each other, arms outstretched.

5. When was the hole identified?

The National Geology and Mining Service (Sernageomin) said it became aware of the incident on 30 July.

Also according to Sernageomin, no material was detected there, but it was possible to see water at the bottom.

7. What measures have already been taken?

Sernageomin announced the closure of areas since the entrance to the Alcaparrosa mine construction site, located near the hole. Zúñiga, the mayor of Tierra Amarilla, said the municipality has requested that studies be completed as soon as possible so that the population is not at risk.

Boric, the president of Chile, also called for investigations during a visit to the site and stressed the need to act quickly. “The hole is the tip of the iceberg in a series of problems affecting Tierra Amarilla. […] This is a development model that has not been beneficial to the community and that must change.”

Both the government and Lundin Mining LUN.TO said that so far no danger has been detected in the city of Tierra Amarilla. Operations at the mine have been suspended since the hole was identified.

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Map shows the location of the giant hole that appeared in the Atacama Desert in Chile — Photo: Arte g1

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