Environmental Impact Assessment


On June 11, 2024, Aclara announced the filing of a new Environmental Impact Assessment (the “EIA”) for the Penco Module with the Environmental Service Assessment (“SEA”) in Concepción, Chile. The EIA features an improved technical design addressing environmental and social requirements, incorporating feedback from public services and local communities. Optimized through a review by, CAP S.A., Aclara’s strategic partner in Chile, the Company will leverage CAP’s expertise throughout the permitting process.

EIA Highlights

The EIA builds on a new technical design and incorporates community feedback, featuring the following highlights:

  • Commitment to Protecting Native Forests:
    • Excludes the Jupiter deposition zone.
    • Modifies project components to avoid areas with six "naranjillo" trees.
    • Plans to revegetate over 100 hectares with native species.
  • “Early Citizen Participation” Process:
    • Engaged with over 1,000 residents, leaders, and opinion leaders of Penco.
    • Received a record 303 recommendations and comments from the community.
    • Conducted over 400 guided tours of the Company’s pilot plant for residents and academic researchers.
    • Established Casa Aclara near Penco’s main square for ongoing community dialogue, with around 100 visitors weekly.
  • Sustainability Commitments:
    • Committed to sourcing 100% of the Project’s water requirements from recycled water.
    • Addressed observations from evaluation services on the previous EIA.

Forest Protection Initiatives

Aclara has initiated a reforestation plan to protect native forests, involving social and regional organizations and offering training in the maintenance of native species. The program aims to donate approximately 8,000 naranjillo trees, followed by other native species such as pitao and queule trees in the Biobío region and other areas in Chile.

Indigenous Community Interaction

The EIA acknowledges potential impacts on the Mapuche indigenous community, with an expectation that SEA will conduct an indigenous community consultation process as part of its evaluation.

Ongoing Community Engagement

Aclara has established Casa Aclara in Penco as a hub for community dialogue and training. Over 350 residents have participated in free workshops and information sessions. The Company maintains continuous engagement with the Penco community and other stakeholders through SomosAclara, a local brand providing regular updates via its website and social media platforms.

Academic Collaborations

Aclara has strong ties with academia, contributing to research and development in the rare earths industry. The Company collaborates with twelve universities in Biobío and other regions, guiding several undergraduate theses and co-developing innovative projects related to the rare earths value chain.

History and Permitting Strategy

On July 3, 2023, SEA terminated its review of a previously submitted EIA due to the discovery of six "naranjillo" trees. In response, Aclara revised its permitting strategy to submit two separate EIAs, covering the full life of mine of the Project. The current EIA focuses on the first six years, covering three extraction zones, one deposition zone, and the anticipated production facilities. A second EIA will address future expansions and increased production capacity, ensuring minimal impact on the Project’s development timeline.