The mining industry has announced since the beginning of 2020 investments for at least US $ 8,757 million in Argentina, in projects that are in different stages of execution, either in exploration, construction or expansion and maintenance of operations in metalliferous deposits and lithium.
This is clear from the announcements made by companies in the mining sector since February 2020 to date, a period that comprises almost from the start of the current government administration and a few weeks before the declaration of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the published survey by @MineriaNumeros, an account of the social network Twitter promoted by the Ministry of Mining of the Nation, the total investments amount to US $ 8,757.9 million, of which the Josemaría project, in the province of San Juan, concentrates almost half of announcements with commitments for US $ 4.2 billion.
– Argentine Mining in Numbers (@MineriaNumeros) November 17, 2021
This project owned by the Canadian mining company Lundin is considered as the possible starting point of the new era of copper in Argentina, as part of a portfolio of at least five megaprojects that will be able to respond to the worldwide increase in demand for this mineral.
Private sources in the sector explained that the decision to promote investments, formalized through the sanction of decree 234/2021, allowed to accelerate one of the situations that were of concern for investment decision-making, especially in currency management.
But beyond the regulatory framework, the context stands out the increase in international prices and the growing demand for a basket of minerals linked to the development that is projected over the next few years linked to renewable energies and electromobility.
In addition, to maintain the dynamics of investmentsthe Government is working on measures to ensure long-term fiscal stability, speed up the refund terms for exploration VAT and construction VAT, and introduce the principle of progressivity in the tax regime for some taxes that may make mining less competitive.
It is a set of definitions that the Ministry of Mining and the Ministry of Productive Development hope that progress can be made along with the launch of the forthcoming Strategic Plan for Mining Development.
But the Josemaría copper project, the first that Argentina has since the closure of the Alumbrera mine, is one of the portfolio of six copper mega porphyries that are in an advanced stage of feasibility and that together with the lithium ones will concentrate the largest future investments.
The sequence of almost twenty announcements that began in February 2020 ranges from the presentation of the Bio Organic company that is investing $ 50 million in San Juan to give added value to Fuegian peat, of which the country is the second largest producer in the world. world after Canadians.
Since then, the announcements have been made by the Barrick Gold-Shandong Gold consortium for the extension of the useful life of the Veladero gold and silver mine, for about US $ 225 million, while in El Quevar (Salta) another US has been announced. $ S 10 million for the exploitation of silver.
The Canadian firm Aldebarán presented its investment plan for US $ 8.4 million for the exploration of the Altar mining project, also made of copper; while the construction of the Lindero mine (Salta) will require another US $ 320 million.
The rate of announcements accelerated from the decision to reduce withholdings to the 8% mole, which was followed by an additional investment to the extension of Veladero’s useful life for US $ 628 million, while the mining company Yamana made the same in Catamarca for the Mara project, of copper, gold and silver. for an investment of US $ 120 million in exploratory tasks.
In the lithium segment, the presentations of the Orocobre-Toyota company -through the Sales de Jujuy company- for about US $ 450 million; of the Livent company as a supplier to the automotive BMW for US $ 974 million, in the Salar del Hombre Muerto project, in Catamarca.
The Hanaq company, for its part, announced investments of US $ 20 million in the Provindencia mine in the province of Jujuy, while Orocobre, in association with the Galaxy company, raised the lithium refining project, in Catamarca, for US $ 150 million.
The rest of the projects launched are those of the Ganfeng company for the Mariana mine (Salta) for US% 580 million, the YPF Litio initiative in Jujuy for US $ 2.5 million; Neo Lithium-Zijin in Salta for the Tres Quebradas undertaking for US $ 770 million and the most recent Centenario Ratones (Salta), US $ 400 million to be disbursed by the Eramet company.
Meanwhile, from the Ministry of Mining it was specified that from the data arising from article 18 of Law 24,196 on Mining Investments, the sworn statements corresponding to the disbursements actually made during the 2020 financial year, also specify the destination of the same.
Thus, the data show that the companies registered in the promotional regime invested a total of US $ 1,165.8 million, distributed in Exploration (US $ 201.1 million); Construction and Expansion, USD 619.8 million; and Sustainment, USD 344.8 million.
According to the sworn statements of Article 25 corresponding to the investments projected for all of 2021, the beneficiaries of the scheme declare an increase of 14% in global investments compared to the previous year, which would reach USD 1,327.3 million.
These investments allow us to observe a breakdown for the year into: Exploration, US $ 243.2 million; Construction and Expansion, USD $ 522.2 million; and Sustainment, US $ 561.9 million.