Chile copper giants seek stability in uncertain political times – by Fabian Cambero (Reuters – November 15, 2021)

Chile’s mining sector is looking for certainty amid political fog in the world’s top copper producer, which is redrafting its constitution and on Sunday is headed for a polarized vote led by outsider candidates on the far left and right.

The front-runners have kept their powder dry on copper in the campaign so far, hinting at hikes to royalties on mining profits. There has also been vague talk from far-right poll leader José Antonio Kast to allow more private investment in state miner Codelco.

The Nov. 21 presidential vote, the first since months of angry protests over inequality rocked Chile in 2019, has become a polarized battle between a leftist coalition led by 35-year-old protest leader Gabriel Boric and ultraconservative Kast.

The battle will be key for the mining sector, which has increasingly come under the spotlight in the region as governments looked to bolster state coffers to drive an economic rebound after the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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