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Colombia's Cerro Matoso mine must pay damages to local communities, court rules

From Reuters - March 16, 2018

BOGOTA, March 16 (Reuters) - Colombias Cerro Matoso nickel mine, owned by Australian miner South32, must pay damages to indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities affected by its operations in Cordoba province, Colombias constitutional court said on Friday.

The court ruled in a lawsuit brought by community leaders that there were waste emissions that seriously affected neighboring communities and that community members had been diagnosed with lung and heart problems, including lung cancer. It also said that some residents had high levels of nickel in their blood and urine.

The companys licensing for the mine does not reflect constitutional standards for environmental protection and Cerro Matoso must re-apply, the court added in a summary of its ruling.

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