For the world’s largest mining companies, it was a victory day. In Chile, the world’s largest copper producer, voters returned billionaire Sebastian Pinera to the country’s presidency, with a promise to reduce corporate taxes and cut red tape.
In South Africa — the top producer of platinum and also rich in gold, coal, ferro-chrome, iron ore and other minerals — the ruling party backed Cyril Ramaphosa as its new leader, putting him on a path to replace Jacob Zuma as the country’s president.
The political shifts are good news for the likes of BHP Billiton Ltd., Rio Tinto Group, Glencore Plc and Anglo American Plc, which have billions of dollars tied in mines in South Africa or Chile — and, in some cases, in both nations.
While Pinera made his fortune in banking and an airline, he’s seen as close to the mining industry, and certainly more friendly than President Michelle Bachelet, who raised corporate taxes and empowered labor unions. Pinera has promised to keep some of the reforms of Bachelet, but also make economic growth and attracting investment his priority.
Ramaphosa, a businessman turned politician who will now have to fight national elections in 2019, was once a business partner of commodities giant Glencore, including a joint venture investing in coal.
For the rest of this article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-18/mining-wins-as-chile-and-south-africa-back-pro-business-leaders