Water scarcity, pollution to take shine off Latin American mining sector – by Cecilia Jamasmie (Mining.com – April 11, 2017)


Water supply concerns and pollution in Latin America will drive increasingly strict environmental regulations in the region over the coming years, which in turn will also make miners’ life more difficult, a report by BMI Research shows.

According to the analysts, in addition to raising costs for mining companies and delaying certain projects, the focus on the amount of water used by the extraction industry will heightened social pressure on firms operating in the area.

A recent example of this trend is what happened in El Salvador, which last month passed a law that bans all mining for gold and other metals in the country, in an effort to protect its environment, particularly its water streams.

BMI expects the usage and treatment of water in the mining industry to come under increasing scrutiny in Latin America, as droughts or arid environments in key regions heighten tension between miners and local communities and previous incidents lead to additional regulations.

The researchers name Chile, Argentina and countries in Central America as the most likely to enforce stricter water regulations due to scarcity, contamination or a combination of both issues:

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