Argentina’s presidential candidates want mining to be platform for country’s recovery – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – September 24, 2015)

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Only weeks before Argentina heads to the polls to choose its new leader, analysts are saying that President Cristina Fernandez’s chosen successor, Daniel Scioli, would probably be the best outcome for miners, as he has promised to maintain financial incentives designed to bolster investments, as well as oil and gas production.

But others differ. One of them is Santiago Dondo, a mining specialist at Pensar, the think tank of leading opposition candidate Mauricio Macri’s party. He told Reuters that the former mayor of Buenos Aires and ex-president of the popular Boca Juniors soccer team, may be a better choice. This, as Macri would give provincial governments a larger chunk of profits from companies operating in the country. The candidate, he added, has vowed to improve environmental inspections across the industry.

“The main challenge … is to generate trust at home, which would also give investors stability,” Dondo said. But according to the country’s mining chamber, any of the three candidates running in the upcoming October election is a good option, as they all have said they see mining as the platform for Argentina’s recovery.

“Scioli has said mining should be an engine for the economy, Macri has been consistent in his support and [opposition candidate] Sergio Massa has said the sector deserves attention,” the president of the Argentine Mining Chamber, Martin Dedeu, said earlier this year, according to País Minero (in Spanish).

The industry body estimates there are at least $5 billion worth of mining projects waiting for a more supportive government to go ahead with plans.

Fernández restricted imports and repatriated export revenue since she was re-elected in 2011. The current President also created currency controls that hurt firms such as Chevron Corp, Petronas and Total, and led Brazil’s Vale (NYSE:VALE) to cancel its $6bn Río Colorado potash project in the country.

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