Miners Are Caught Between Rocks and Hard Places – by Clara Ferreira Marques (Bloomberg News – January 26, 2023)


From Peru’s social unrest to Panama’s industry intervention, Latin America is becoming a trickier destination for big diggers.

Latin America has long been a favored destination for mining majors as a reliable source of metals, particularly copper. But increasingly, it’s becoming a trouble spot. From Chile’s tax hike to Peru’s social unrest and Panama’s intervention in a massive mine, all is not well.

The problem is clear enough. State infrastructure, pensions, education and health care were threadbare in much of the region even before a pandemic that exposed deep inequities.

Inflation, still high, is making a bad situation worse, and governments have made expensive promises they’re now under pressure to fund. Understandably enough, social and environmental concerns are also front of mind for local communities.

Copper isn’t the only mineral in the crosshairs. Chile, whose president was elected with a green agenda, last week rejected a $2.5 billion iron-ore project near a nature reserve in the north and is creating a state miner to unlock its lithium potential.

For the rest of this column: https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2023-01-26/latin-america-s-mining-troubles-add-to-copper-supply-concern-ldd2gto0?leadSource=uverify%20wall