Mining companies seek sector ‘stability’ in new Chilean constitution
SANTIAGO – Mining companies operating in Chile will deliver a proposal document to the elected assembly drafting a new constitution for the world’s largest copper producer, an industry association said Monday, seeking stability for the sector.
The National Mining Society (Sonami) said the proposal document is the result of work done since 2020 and focuses on sustainability, the legal framework for mining and the broader economic environment. .
Chile is reformulating its decades-old, market-friendly constitution after major protests in 2019 exposed social anger and wide inequalities in the mineral-rich Andean nation. The rewrite could have a big impact on the mining sector.
“It would be desirable to keep in place protections for mining concessions regarding royalty payments, which provide the necessary certainty and stability for companies holding mining concessions,” Sonami said.
“This mechanism is internationally recognized for its objective, transparent and easy to monitor operation.
The mining body said the assembly should consider things like public investment versus private investment, water use, indigenous communities, technological innovation and regulation.
The authors of the new constitution, elected in a nationwide vote, are biased in favor of more independent and left-wing representatives after voters rejected candidates from the ruling center-right bloc and other mainstream parties.
The mining sector has already raised concerns about the impact of the constitutional overhaul, stressed the importance of keeping the rules of the game and sought to have a say in debates over the new constitution.
Mining taxes and royalty payments on copper and lithium battery metal are in the spotlight in Chile and neighboring Peru, while copper prices have hit all-time highs this year.