The world’s biggest copper producer, Chile’s Antofagasta, expressed “alarm” on Saturday over the country’s mounting political instability.
Companies in Chile’s mining sector are concerned about rising uncertainty and the need to safeguard Chile’s strong growth in the mining industry by maintaining the game’s rules.
The mining industry, which has come under growing scrutiny in the area as governments have sought to boost public coffers in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, will play a significant role in this struggle.
Copper prices are expected to remain over $4 per pound for the next 12 to 18 months, but with more volatility, due to strong long-term fundamentals and sustained demand.
Presidential candidates José Antonio Kast, who advocates mining royalties for industrial technology and Gabriel Boric, whose major plan for the mining sector is to provide all Chileans with shares in state copper corporation Codelco, won the first round of Chile’s presidential election and will now face a runoff on December 19.
Cobalt, uranium, selenium, and indium are among the other minerals that Kast wants to mine in addition to gold. He also wants to enhance permit-related institutions to prevent projects from becoming subjects of litigation. Kast wants a portion of the royalties collected to support research in industrial technology that is competitive with other research funds. Under his plan, the national mining corporation Enami, which doesn’t mine but processes the minerals of small and medium-sized miners, would be transformed into a technology transfer institution that has yet to be fully implemented.
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While the existing system is being reviewed, a fee on copper exports that contain rare earth elements is included in the paper. A regulatory framework for workforce development and training is also part of the candidate’s proposal. On the other hand, small and medium-sized miners would be given access to mining concessions that are now unexploited or underexploited.
To combat climate change, Gabriel Boric advocates for regulations that encourage sustainable energy in mining.
Boric seeks to introduce new governance rules in the lithium business and establish a national lithium firm. In addition, he aims to modernize Enami and establish recycling systems for small-scale mining waste and abandoned equipment. In addition, he intends to increase the value of copper and its byproducts by increasing its marketability. “Critical for overcoming extractivism,” applied science, and innovation in mining is defined.
Additionally, the text mentions scientific endeavors to reduce the effect of tailings. In terms of taxation, Boric favors a combination of royalties based on the value of the minerals harvested and earnings and green taxes on CO2 and diesel. The program stresses that tax invariability will be maintained. Most current mining contracts have tax invariability until 2024, which is over 80 percent.
Boric will also support the development of a new environmentally-friendly copper smelter to enhance refined copper output.