Anglo to restart El Soldado mine in Chile after permit approval

Anglo American (AAL.L) plans to restart production shortly at its El Soldado copper mine in Chile as regulators have approved a new permit plan for the deposit, the company said late Thursday.

Anglo stopped operations at El Soldado on Feb. 17 after regulators rejected an initial redesign of the mine, saying there was a potential for collapse where the project crossed former underground operations.

The miner has said it believed its original plans were safe but submitted a revised version of the redesign, which Anglo said on Thursday the government had approved.

“As a result of this decision, Anglo American will immediately adopt the necessary measures to operate the mine as soon as possible,” the company said in a statement.

Anglo American, the majority-owner of El Soldado, had said that if it did not receive the necessary permits it might walk away from the deposit altogether.

The mine has lost money in recent years, and management has been following an aggressive savings plan against the backdrop of depressed copper prices.

El Soldado produced 47,000 tonnes of copper in 2016, making it relatively small by Chilean standards. The mine is part of the Anglo American Sur complex, in which Chile’s state-run Codelco [COBRE.UL] and Japan’s Mitsubishi (8058.T) and Mitsui (8031.T) also hold stakes.