Aerial footage reveals mysterious 82-ft-wide SINKHOLE which is ‘still growing’

The sinkhole opened up on land near a copper mine, and experts have found water at its bottom


                            Aerial footage reveals mysterious 82-ft-wide SINKHOLE which is ‘still growing’
The sinkhole is believed to be about 200 meters deep (Youtube/INQUIRER)
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Exquisite photographs have been acquired of a massive sinkhole connected to a copper mine that appeared this weekend in northern Chile. The 82-foot-wide hole, which is also reported to be more than 650 feet deep, inexplicably formed on July 30, Saturday in the Atacama Region's Tierra Amarilla commune, adjacent to the enormous Alcaparrosa mine.

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Aerial photos of the unusual event, which occurred on ground owned and controlled by a Canadian copper mine company called Lundin Mining and is located about 413 miles north of Santiago, Chile's capital, were provided by Chilean media. On July 31, Sunday, the town's mayor, Cristobal Zuniga, verified the existence of the sinkhole, which is just outside the town, and expressed concern from locals that excessive mining in the area would have disastrous effects.

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"Yesterday [Saturday, 30th July] we received a citizen complaint regarding a sinkhole that occurred here in our community near the Alcaparrosa mine," Mayor Zuniga said. "We are concerned since it is a fear that we have always had as a community, the fact we are surrounded by mining deposits and subterranean works under our community."

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Although there has been no official proof that the sinkhole was brought on by mining operations, local officials claim that the hole is indeed expanding. "It is still active, it is still growing and it is something that has not previously been seen in our community," stated Mayor Zuniga.


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Gerardo Tapia, a representative of the Atacama Region, asked Sernageomin, the National Geology and Mining Service, to determine the cause of the sinkhole's appearance. David Montenegro, the head of Sernageomin, later verified that the organization had deployed experts to the area to undertake analyses.

"There is a considerable distance, approximately 200 meters, to the bottom," Montenegro said. "We haven't detected any material down there, but we have seen the presence of a lot of water." Although no casualties have been recorded and authorities are still keeping an eye on the situation, the neighborhood's residents are worried that the unexpected hole is only growing to become worse.

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The sinkhole was discovered on Saturday, according to Lundin Mining Corporation, the mine's majority owner, and the company stated it had halted operations there while Sernageomin conducted testing. In a statement, the company stated: "Upon detection, the area was immediately isolated and the relevant regulatory authorities notified. There has been no impact to personnel, equipment, or infrastructure."

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"The surficial sinkhole has remained stable since detection. Minera Ojos del Salado is conducting technical analysis and gathering information to determine the cause of the event," the statement concluded. 80 per cent of the property is owned by Lundin Mining, and the remaining 20 per cent is owned by Sumitomo Corporation of Japan.

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