BRASILIA (Reuters) – A new Brazilian mining regulator created last year to cut red tape and attract foreign investment has still not gotten out of the blocks, with experts warning that the agency will be stalled at least through the October election and perhaps until 2019. Miners say major investments are hanging in the balance.
The National Mining Agency (ANM) — approved by Congress in November — cannot begin its activities until the Senate confirms five directors appointed by President Michel Temer. A separate initiative to modernize the country’s mining code will only go into effect once the agency launches.
With less than three months to go before general elections, “it isn’t feasible” that the directors will be confirmed before a new government is elected, said Israel Lacerda de Araujo, Senate mining expert who advised lawmakers on the regulations.
Flexa Ribeiro, a senator who sits on the infrastructure committee overseeing the confirmations, said Temer’s nominations “showed a lack of respect” because they did not include any directors from Brazil’s most important mining states of Minas Gerais and Para.
It will take longer for the directors to be confirmed as a result and it’s still possible new names could be put forward, said Ribeiro, a member of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) from Para.