Noranda Retracts Environmental Impact Statement for Alumysa Aluminum Smelter in Chile

The “No-Alumysa” campaign is celebrating as Noranda’s proposed Alumysa aluminum smelter in southern Chile is put on hold indefinitely.

On August 4th, 2003, Chile’s President Ricardo Lagos made a public statement that the Alumysa project should “find a new location.” Less than two weeks later, Noranda retracted its Environmental Impact Study (EIS). The approval process for the EIS has dragged for the past two years due to large gaps in Noranda’s documentation. The Regional Environmental Commission of Chile was expected to give its final decision on the project in December 2003.

Although this move does not mean that the project has been stopped, it gives the campaign more time to work on strengthening its position that Alumysa is in conflict with the existing economic engines of the Aysén region – fishing, eco-tourism, and sustainable farming. The Campaign will also need to counter the political argument that this project be re-located elsewhere in the pristine region of Patagonia.