The post-pandemic recovery stage can be an opportunity to revalue the positive role of investment for the country’s progress, since today it does not seem to be a priority for broad national sectors.
Thanks to the operational continuity of the mining industry and the rise in the prices of raw materials that have been observed since March, the devastating impact of the pandemic on the national economy has been cushioned.
Although the scenario so far is positive, what is coming will be very hard. Unemployment and the recovery of many bankrupt companies will be an uphill climb that will have to be overcome, even more so in an environment of high political uncertainty.
For this reason, the reactivation plan that seeks to speed up investment in projects in the pipeline is very important, especially in what has to do with bureaucratic bottlenecks, which are the stopping stone of many projects. Especially miners, who sometimes have to process more than a thousand permits and whose processing times are, in some cases, three to four times longer than what the regulations establish.
But mining can give the country greater impulses and this serious crisis is the opportunity for a greater review. Such is the case of other countries with a significant mining industry such as Australia, which is investing hundreds of millions of dollars in promoting exploration for the long-term benefit it generates through new discoveries and projects. It also invests in training and job retraining. Or South Africa, which works to promote small-scale mining.
Countries closer to Latin America, such as Peru and Colombia, will also focus on streamlining projects, reducing bureaucracy, but taking care not to force delicate situations in terms of community or environmental relations. Nor in Chile is it intended to relax standards of any kind to impose projects, however, it is key to recognize that the permisology in our country has become a tangle that has lost a reasonable overview.
The post-pandemic recovery stage can be an opportunity to revalue the positive role of investment for the country’s progress, since today it does not seem to be a priority for broad national sectors. In recent years, the notion of the benefit that investment generates for the whole of society has been lost. The crisis will be long, so changes must be made today that can mature in a longer time.
The issue goes beyond recovery plans. The constitutional debate already announces that it will include the role of investment in the country, in which the responsibility and vision of the State must prevail, ensuring a clear purpose for Chile’s mining resources.
Juan Carlos Guajardo – Plusmining’s Executive Director
Translated with Google Translator