The Argentine Chamber of Mining Entrepreneurs (CAEM) reported that the country’s mining output fell by 70% y-o-y in 2020 due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. CAEM also said that small and medium-sized mining operations, which tend to be family-owned, saw a 40-50% fall in production.
In the Chamber’s view, certain “unjustified” restrictions that some provinces have imposed on mining operations are in part to blame for the lower output. Thus, the industry group encouraged regional governments to launch an informed dialogue that could lead to the restarting of the projects that have been halted.
In particular, CAEM expressed concern over operations in the southern Chubut province, which hosts copper and silver-lead projects such as Pan American Silver’s Navidad project. The western-central Mendoza province was also pointed out by the Chamber as an area of concern, given that many of the 130 mining and related companies working on gold, silver, copper, and potash projects remain inoperative.
Despite the negative balance, the organization reckoned that the federal government’s efforts to support the mining industry via the Work and Production Assistance Program (ATP) have been key in keeping some mines operative and gradually increasing production.
The Argentine Chamber of Mining Entrepreneurs are working together on a proposal aimed at maintaining unity among the different actors and designing a long-term strategy for the recovery of the country’s mining industry.