SANTIAGO DE CHILE - Greenpeace Chile Tuesday blamed the destruction of over 50 percent of rock glaciers on Chile's state-owned mining company Codelco.
"Between the years 1991 and 2000 Codelco removed between 1- 8 million tonnes of ice per year," read a statement by the environmental non-profit that organized dances in front of the corporate building of the mining giant in the heart of the Chilean capital.
"The idea (of the dances) came to highlight the disgrace of Codelco being the main destroyer of the planet's glaciers," chief campaign director of Greenpeace Chile, Estefania Gonzalez, said.
The destruction of glaciers "must leave us outraged and as Chileans we must demand that the company that claims to be our pride not destroy glaciers during its mining operations," she added.
The statement says Codelco has acknowledged the need to use glaciers as dumping sites for future projects threatening the water supply of a large part of the population.
The company says future mining projects will be located in the headwaters of the river basins of central Chile, which holds 50 percent of the country's unexplored mining reserves.
Codelco is the world's largest copper mining company and produced 1.84 million tonnes of fine copper, or 10 percent of total world output, in 2014.
Revenues from copper sales are crucial for the economy of this South American country with 17.6 million inhabitants.