The mining industry brushed aside risks posed by left-leaning politician Gabriel Boric’s resounding victory in Chile’s runoff presidential election Dec. 19, despite the president-elect’s campaign promises to rein in the sector and raise fees.
After winning roughly 56% of the vote in the second round of elections, 35-year-old Boric underscored his opposition to Minera Andes Iron’s Dominga iron-copper-gold project, and on the campaign trail, Boric promised to create a state-run lithium company and supported mining tax hikes and royalties. Boric is looking to squeeze miners to bring in cash for public services while protecting the environment.
Despite the threats, several miners and analysts have taken Chile’s apparent shift to the left in stride, citing the outsized role of mining in Chile’s economy and checks in presidential power as reasons for calm.
Chile is the world’s No. 1 copper producer and boasts some of the largest lithium resources and reserves on Earth. The mineral-rich nation is on track to produce 26.7% of the world’s mined copper and 31.9% of the world’s lithium chemical supply in 2021, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence analysts.
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