Glencore to Vale Showing Interest in Argentina, Minister Says (Bloomberg News – March 9, 2016)

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(Bloomberg) — Deregulation in Argentina is piquing the interest of global miners including Glencore Plc and Vale SA that had suspended or slowed projects in the country, according to the government.

While contact is only at a sounding-out stage, the new government of President Mauricio Macri has had talks with Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore about its Pachon copper project and with Rio de Janeiro-based Vale about its mothballed Rio Colorado potash project, Mining Secretary Daniel Meilan said.

“We are speaking about these projects,” he said in an interview from a mining conference in Toronto. “We are speaking about the future — what we think, what they think. They have shown interest.”

In his first few months in office, Macri removed capital and currency controls and export taxes introduced by his predecessors in a bid to boost investment, while cutting an initial deal to end a 15-year-old debt dispute and return the country to global financial markets. Now authorities are turning their attention to fighting inflation and, in mining, brokering a regulatory accord with provincial governments.

Vale declined to comment through a spokesperson, referring only to remarks by Chief Executive Officer Murilo Ferreira in December that the company isn’t considering greenfield projects as it focuses on cutting debt.

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