[Geysers] Tatio energy exploration

Mario Durrant yellowstone17 at bridgernet.com
Sun Jan 15 00:57:41 PST 2006

In searching www.google.cl I could only find one pertinent article, dated 30 December 2005 by Paulina Hidalgo.  In her article she does state the worst case scenario as quoted by Deputy Guido Girardi:  "...las empresas mineras Copiapó y Geotérmica del Norte -ésta última de propiedad de Codelco y Enap- presentaron recientemente al Ministerio de Minería dos proyectos de prospección con miras a extraer energía geotérmica de la zona..."  Translation:  "...the mining publications Copiapo and Geothermal of the North-- this last one property of Codelco and Enap- recently presented to the Ministry of Mining two prospective projects with intentions of extracting geothermal engergy from the zone..."

Deputy Girardi goes on to cite an existing law which he calls "la Ley de Bases del Medio Ambiente"-- the "Law of the Basis of the Mid-Environment"-- (I take this to mean "balanced") which will be in violation if the projects go forward.  Ms. Hidalgo then says: 
"Las exploraciones implicarían el ingreso de maquinarias y herramientas a un total de 11.400 hectáreas de una zona que cada año recibe la visita de más de cien mil turistas chilenos y extranjeros. De ahí que además del daño medioambiental, Girardi subrayara que las perforaciones acarrearían "la pérdida de una cuota de recursos que no se comparan con la cifra limitada de impuestos que genera la minería". "  Translation:  "The explorations would imply the arrival of machinery and tools to the total area of 11,400 hectares of a region that each year receives more than 100,000 chilean and foreign tourists.  >From then on as far as the environmental damage, Girardi emphasizes, the drilling holes would cause "the loss of a quantity of resources that does not compare to the limited amount of duty/taxes (=money) that the mining would generate."

Oscar Santelices, the Chilean National Tourism Service is then quoted as being "extremely worried" that these projects put at risk a national tourism icon.  "Every time we promote our tourist destinations internationally, the geysers provoke great interest."

The article ends with this statement:  
"La autoridad indicó que espera que el Ministerio de Minería "se acerque a preguntarnos nuestra opinión, porque de inmediato les diremos que rechacen estas iniciativas".

Translation:  "The authority (from the National Tourism Service) indicated that it hopes that the Ministry of Mining comes and asks us our opinion, because immediately we will tell them to reject these initiatives." 

Maybe a letter or letters to the Chilean Ministry of Mining would be the appropriate method of voicing an opinion since it sounds like they are the ones to make final decisions.  If they've already issued a permit for drilling I couldn't find it in my search, but that doesn't mean anything.   I am more than happy to translate and I'm sure I can find out where to send mail to.  

Mario Durrant

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: TSBryan at aol.com 
  To: geysers at wwc.edu 
  Sent: Friday, January 13, 2006 6:55 PM
  Subject: Re: [Geysers] Tatio energy exploration

  In a message dated 1/13/2006 4:23:29 PM Pacific Standard Time, caverns at gmail.com writes:
    I received the following email today concerning El Tatio and Puchuldiza Geysers, Chile. My understanding --from reading the Santiago newspaper online for the last several months-- is that the government has issued a license for immediate geothermal exploration at El Tatio (and presumably from the email, Puchuldiza too).  A www.google.cl search for "Tatio" will find a few relevant stories.

  Not good at all, obviously. However, since I don't read Spanish, might it be possible for somebody to provide a translation or two?
    I am sure that the sender would be happy to hear from anyone interested in the situation.

  Will do, although i'm not sure who we _really_ need to write to.

  Scott Bryan


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