Chile has rejected a billion-dollar mining project because it would hurt marine life. The area the company wanted to mine is home to 80 per cent of the world's Humboldt penguin. Blue whales, fin whales and sea otters also live there. A mining company called Andes Iron had wanted to mine millions of tons of iron and copper. It also wanted to build a new port. Chile's Environment Minister told reporters: "I firmly believe in development, but it cannot be at the cost of our environmental heritage or cause risk to health, or to unique ecological areas in the world."
Chile's National Mining Society said this was bad news for the country. It said the project was essential for the economic development of the country. The controversial project would have created $2.5 billion. The government said the mining company had not shown the full negative impact of the project on the environment. It questioned the project's finances. The government said: "There are deficiencies in basic information and insufficiencies in…compensation, meaning we believe that the eventual impacts have not been properly taken care of."