The company this morning told investors that the Chilean Supreme Court has upheld a prior ruling by the Court of Appeal.
That prior ruling overturned a decision to grant Minera Hampton Chile Limitada (MHC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Metminco, access for mining purposes.
The company said it would now evaluate other alternatives to secure mining access rights.
William Howe, Metminco managing director, said: “Given the Supreme Court's decision, the company will continue to evaluate other options to resolve this mining access dispute, and in so doing, facilitate the development of the Mollacas project.
Metminco also clarified that the court rulings do not affect MHC’s mining concession rights or other existing access rights.
It holds title to 21 exploitation concessions which cover the Mollacas deposit and surrounding area.
Metminco owns 179 hectares of land adjacent to the proposed open pit and intends to build infrastructure for the operation on this land. It also has water rights to about 175 litres per second from two canals, though the actual water usage is expected to be around 40 litres a second.
Speaking about Metminco’s other copper project, Los Calatos, Howe said a process to secure a strategic partner is progressing, with parties working through due diligence.
“Although the process is taking longer than initially anticipated, due mainly to current market conditions, but also the requirement to secure a deal that reflects real value for shareholders, a number of new parties entered the process in late 2015," he added.