The Post Coronavirus Mining Potential 

May, 2020 -

This article aims to analyze the state of the Argentine mining industry, its growth potential, and briefly comment on certain situations in the current legal-regulatory system, which could be improved to accelerate its post-quarantine development.

1. The economic and mining situation in Argentina pre COVID-19

In Argentina, the pandemic has motivated the issuance of preventive and mandatory social isolation measures (the "Quarantine"). These measures, taken in many countries of the world, will inevitably bring unfavorable economic consequences. Comparisons have been heard that, just as the effect of the virus may be more severe in people with health problems prior to infection, the economic effects of quarantine may also be more severe in countries with economic problems prior to quarantine.

In this sense, 2019 was not a good year for the Argentine economy. Inflation ranked it among the worst in the world (53.8% INDEC), poverty was 37.5% (ODSA, UCA), and unemployment was 8.9% (INDEC) with informal employment of 50% (IDESA). Country risk placed Argentina in relation to South America in second place after Venezuela, and with more than double the third (Ecuador), and 10 times more than Brazil (JPMorgan EMBI). Other pre-pandemic indicators rank Argentina 147th out of 169 in economic freedoms (Fraser 2019), and Chubut, Mendoza and La Rioja among the worst 10 jurisdictions in the world to invest in mining, along with Zambia, the Congo. and Mali (Fraser 2020).

Currently it is estimated that quarantine and prevention measures in Argentina cause a loss in the economy of USD 427M per day of quarantine and a 0.5% drop in GDP for each week of quarantine. For all of 2020, a drop of between 6 and 8.5% of GDP is expected, an increase in unemployment to 13%, and poverty to 45%. Definitely. Argentina was already on a losing streak, the pandemic appeared as a new scourge, the dollar shot up again and pessimistic comments regarding default and more inflation emerge.

Among the measures adopted, it was resolved by Decree No. 297/20 to exempt from quarantine certain activities considered essential and by Administrative Decision 450/20 to include all mining stages in that list. The main reason would be that mining is crucial for the employment and economy of many corners of Argentina and, in addition, due to its geographical characteristics, it would be less exposed to the spread of the virus. This can also be interpreted as a greater relevance than the potential of this industry is taking in the country.

Click here to read the entire article.


Link to article


WSG Member: Please login to add your comment.