The Chilean government has rejected plans for a billion-dollar mining project because it would disrupt sea life, including endangered penguins.
A Chilean company, Andes Iron, had wanted to extract millions of tonnes of iron in the northern Coquimbo region as well as building a new port.
Ministers said the project did not provide sufficient environmental guarantees.
Coquimbo is close to the islands which form Chile’s Humboldt Penguin Reserve.
The area is home to 80% of the world’s Humboldt penguins as well as other endangered species, including blue whales, fin whales and sea otters.
Environment Minister Marcelo Mena said: “I firmly believe in development, but it cannot be at the cost of our environmental heritage or cause risk to health, or to unique ecological areas in the world.”
Mr Mena said the decision of the ministerial committee had been based on technical aspects and the evidence of fourteen agencies and …
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