President Mauricio Macri today announced the elimination of export duties for metallic and non-metallic minerals during a visit to the province of San Juan, a key mining district in the country.
The elimination of the export duties won’t come as something new for the mining sector as Macri had already anticipated the measure since he was elected. During the campaign, Macri praised the mining sector and highlighted its potential, describing it as a strategic resource for the country.
Many of the restrictions questioned by mining companies have been eliminated, such as import and export restrictions, prohibitions on repatriating profits and foreign currency controls — but elimination of export duties is still pending.
It’s not clear yet how the more flexible rules for the mining sector and the increase in projects will square up with a promise for stricter environmental regulations, none of which have been announced yet despite Macri’s promise to keep close tabs on the environmental impact of mining projects.
The country has about US$14.5 billion in mining projects that have been waiting for more favourable rules in order to move forward, according to a recent analysis by BNamericas. Of the US$14.5 billion, US$13.77 billion are copper projects and US$747 million are gold projects.
Multinational companies that work in Argentina, including Goldcorp, Pan American Silver, Silver Standard and McEwen Mining, have already celebrated that many of their demands have been addressed.
Date: February 12, 2016