Brazil mining reforms seen passing Congress despite opposition – by Jake Spring and Alexandra Alper (Reuters U.S. – July 26, 2017)

BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Mining reforms decreed by Brazilian President Michel Temer are likely to pass Congress, a legislative leader told Reuters on Wednesday, despite opposition from an industry trade group.

The revisions to the mining code, announced on Tuesday, would raise government mining royalties. But officials said they would also cut industry red tape by creating a new regulatory agency and speeding up approvals.

Temer, who is under investigation for corruption, has argued that changes across many sectors of the economy are necessary to shore up government finances as Brazil emerges from its worst recession on record.

The mining reforms must be approved by Congress within 90 days to take permanent effect. Royalties would not rise until November.

“I don’t think the mining measures will be hard to approve quickly,” said Beto Mansur, deputy leader of the government’s coalition in the lower legislative house, a role akin to the majority whip in the U.S. House of Representatives. “It’s a proposal for modernizing the sector, I think it will be a very positive thing.”

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