Mysterious sinkhole in Chile opens near an underground mine

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Stunning images have emerged of a huge sinkhole that has opened up near an underground mining operation in northern Chile.

The sinkhole, estimated by Chilean authorities to be 105 feet wide and 210 feet deep, first appeared on Saturday.

“Upon detection, the area was immediately isolated and the relevant regulatory authorities notified,” Lundin Mining, a Canadian company that owns the site, said in a statement. “There has been no impact on personnel, equipment or infrastructure.”

The company also said the sinkhole has been “stable since detection.”

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An aerial view taken on Monday, August 1, showing a large sinkhole that appeared over the weekend near the mining town of Tierra Amarilla, CopiapĆ³ province, in Chile's Atacama Desert.

An aerial view taken on Monday, August 1, showing a large sinkhole that appeared over the weekend near the mining town of Tierra Amarilla, CopiapĆ³ province, in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
(Johan Godoy/AFP via Getty Images)

“The Alcaparrosa mine, which is part of the Minera Ojos del Salado operations, is continuously monitored and no movement related to the surface sinkhole has been detected,” he added.

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It’s not immediately clear why the sinkhole opened.

A 328-foot security perimeter has been erected around the pit near the Alcaparrosa mine operated by Canadian firm Lundin Mining.

A 328-foot security perimeter has been erected around the pit near the Alcaparrosa mine operated by Canadian firm Lundin Mining.
(Johan Godoy/AFP via Getty Images)

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Chile’s National Geology and Mining Service, also called Sernageomin, said its staff visited the site to collect information and prepare a technical report.

The sinkhole has been stable since detection, says Lundin Mining.

The sinkhole has been stable since detection, says Lundin Mining.
(Reuters/Johan Godoy)

“Professionals from the Regional Directorate and the central level of Sernageomin toured the area verifying what had happened, to see if there were cracks, and entered the mine to see its real state,” said David Montenegro, its national director.

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