The Chilean navy has been deployed after an oil spill near the southern island of Guarello. Some 40,000 liters (10,500 gallons) of oil have leaked into the sensitive waters off Patagonia.
Mining company CAP alerted the Chilean navy to an oil spill off the country's south coast, company representatives said, saying they had started removing the oil.
On Sunday, the Chilean navy confirmed the spill and said its anti-contamination team had been deployed to the scene. The military sent out a barge and an ocean patrol boat to the waters near the Patagonian island of Guarello, where CAP's onshore terminal is located.
"Units were ordered to deploy immediately to the area to take stock of what has happened, to control and mitigate possible damage caused by the emergency," the navy said.
The cause of the incident was not immediately clear.
The navy estimated some 40,000 liters (10,500 gallons) of oil had spilt into the area. Waters around the South Pacific island are among the cleanest on the planet and the region also boasts some of the richest marine ecosystems.
In a statement on Sunday, CAP said the spillage had already been contained. The company said it had installed a container sleeve in the area and began removing oil from the affected bay immediately.
dj/aw (AP, Reuters, AFP, Reuters)