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Sector Outlook

Argentina’s mining sector has the potential to be a sustainable driver of prosperity for the country. It can stimulate employment, lead to societal transformation, develop the skill set of human capital, and create broad-based wealth.

However, a number of challenges have to be addressed to attain sustainability. These challenges are related to finances, law and regulation, and social and environmental impact. The Argentine State is already working on their solution to underpin the confidence of domestic stakeholders and unlock the industry’s potential.

Recent Developments

The National Mining Plan implemented by the Ministry of Energy and Mining contains a number of objectives which are already making headway:

  • Availability of resources: the plan aspires to promote significant new mining exploration in the upcoming years to improve the quantity and quality of available geological information.
  • Cost structure: the Ministry of Energy and Mining is striving to eliminate financial and monetary restrictions that affect the sector towards the end of creating a competitive cost structure and attracting more external investments.
  • Governance: the Argentine State is taking concrete action to strengthen the rule of law and compliance in the industry (for this, stable and homogenous laws and rules are being enacted and made more visible). These actions will encourage companies to comply with laws and improve controls across the value chain.
  • Society and environment: there is a strong commitment to ensuring the development of local communities and of the mining sector in an environmentally responsible way. Public forums will be created to involve communities in designing the strategies and tactics needed to develop the sector, improving the sector’s reputation and acceptance throughout the country.

The following measures have been adopted to carry out this plan:

  • Creating an “open data portal” to enable complete access to mining public data.
  • Enacting a law to support fiscal stability for investors, protecting them from future changes in the fiscal regime that would discourage their current investments.
  • Engaging federal authorities to improve relationships with the Provinces. For instance, the Ministry has involved COFEMIN, the Federal Mining Council, and COFEMA, the Federal Environmental Council, in drawing up a Mining and Environmental Plan.

Investment Opportunities

With the support of the private sector and provincial authorities, the National Mining Plan can transform Argentina into one of the world’s key players in mining.

As a matter of fact, Argentina is currently:

  • 13th world producer of gold and 4th in Latin America, having the potential to stand amongst the ten most relevant gold producers on a global scale;
  • 10th world producer of silver and 5th in Latin America, with the potential to be one of the world’s top five;
  • 20th world producer of copper and 5th in Latin America, having a production potential eight times higher than the present one, which would place it 6th in the world ranking.
  • 4th largest lithium reserve in the world. Current production ranks the country 3rd on a global level and 2nd in the region.

Resulting from this, the mining sector offers attractive opportunities for the future: USD 7.7 billion investment has already been committed in the first months of 2016.

Mining is one of the activities with the highest growth potential in the country and requires sustainable and inclusive production. Because of this, the Argentine State will accompany the industry in order to guarantee its responsible development, in compliance with the legal, institutional and environmental framework, whilst respecting the interests of companies and local communities