Accessibility links

Chile Mining Company Sells Assets to Avoid Bankruptcy

Esteban Rojas, center, the 18th miner to be rescued from the San Jose Mine near Copiapo, Chile, waves after his rescue, 13 Oct 2010

The company that owns the Chilean mine 33 men were trapped in for more than two months has agreed to sell its assets to avoid bankruptcy.

Judge Rocio Perez said Thursday creditors have given the San Esteban mining company 15 months to repay its debts.

Thirty-three of the company's miners were rescued last month from a mine in northern Chile after a tunnel collapse on August 5 left them trapped for 69 days.

Chile's Radio Cooperativa reports some of the money will be used as severance pay for the 300 miners of the San Jose mine who lost their jobs after the collapse.

The mining company also owes the Chilean government between $10 and $20 million for the rescue operation.

Chilean courts are holding the company's total wealth, which amounts to about $10 million.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.