Aclara is working on a revised permit strategy to address concerns regarding native forests without significantly affecting the Project's development timeline. This revised approach allows for technical improvements to be integrated to the previously submitted EIA. Under the new strategy, Aclara plans to submit two Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) in compliance with Chilean regulations, with the first one (EIA 1) covering the initial five years of the Project's life. It will include three extraction zones, one deposition zone, and the production facilities, aiming to reduce the Project's impact on native forests and address regulatory observations. EIA 1 is expected to be filed in the first quarter of 2024.
The second EIA (EIA 2) will be prepared when the Company is ready to expand production to additional zones not covered by EIA 1, considering new deposition zones and an increase in the production plant's throughput capacity. The Company also plans to reactivate the Jupiter deposition zone and evaluate other potential deposition zones. Conceptual studies for increasing the production plant's capacity are scheduled for 2024.
The revised EIA announcement can be found here, coming as a result of the Environmental Service Assessment (SEA)'s decision to terminate the review of the Company's environmental impact assessment application for the Penco Module Project that had been submitted in April 2023. The termination followed a request from the National Forest Corporation (CONAF), which cited the discovery of six undisclosed citronella mucronate trees, commonly known as "naranjillo" trees, within the Project area. Five (5) of these trees were found near the location of an existing access road that would require modification, and another was found within a local “native forest”, in the area of the Project.