Local media in Paraguay reported Cartes Group receiving a $79,500 fine for cutting down trees where its proposed cement plant will be built near San Lazaro, Concepción. The company will also have to pay $1.8 million toward gaining environmental certificates for the $180 million project. Cartes Group purchased Calera Risso, the company planning to build the new plant, in late 2018.
Environmental studies conducted at the site have noted caves that should be federally protected including the Risso Cavern, where a fossil of a giant sloth was found in 2012. The Paraguayan Federation of Speleology asked the Ministry of Environmental and Sustainability (MADES) to safeguard the site that also holds microfossils dating back 550 million years.
The proposed cement plant was announced in early 2019 with a tentative opening in 2021.