SANTIAGO (Reuters) – Miner Anglo American on Thursday completed the installation of a floating island of solar panels in a tailings pond associated with its flagship Los Bronces copper mine outside the Chilean capital of Santiago, a bid to boost efficiency at the deposit.

The 256 panels, tethered to the bottom of the artificial lagoon to ensure proper orientation even in strong winds and changing water levels, have the capacity to produce 86 kilowatts, the company said.

Chile mining minister Baldo Prokurica, who attended a ceremony inaugurating the project, said he saw the pilot program, the first of its kind, according to Anglo American, as a model to follow.

“I hope that, in practice, it extends to other [mines] in the country,” Prokurica told Reuters.

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