Source: Reuters

A sinkhole in Chile has doubled in size, engulfing France’s Arc de Triomphe and causing officials to halt work at a nearby copper mine.

The sinkhole, which first appeared on July 30, now measures 50 meters (160 feet) broad and descends 200 meters (656 feet). The Space Needle in Seattle, as well as six Christ the Redeemer statues from Brazil, would sit comfortably in the black hole, enormous arms spread.

The National Service of Geology and Mining said late Saturday that it is still studying the enormous hole near the Alcaparrosa mine, which is operated by Canadian business Lundin Mining (LUN.TO) and is located some 665 kilometers (413 miles) north of Santiago.

In addition to halting all operations, the geology and mining agency announced the start of a “sanctioning process.” The agency did not elaborate on what that action might entail.

Lundin did not respond immediately to a request for comment. Last week, the firm stated that the hole did not endanger personnel or community people and that it was investigating the reason. more info

Lundin controls 80% of the property, with the remaining 20% held by Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation.

The hole in Tierra Amarilla initially measured about 25 meters (82 feet) across, with water visible at the bottom. more info

The geology and mining agency said it had placed water extraction pumps at the mine and will check the company’s underground chambers for potential over-extraction in the coming days.

Local officials have voiced concern that the Alcaparrosa mine may have flooded below ground, causing the surrounding soil to be unstable. Tierra Amarilla Mayor Cristobal Zuniga told local media that it will be “something completely out of the ordinary,”

Source: Reuters

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