Latin American governments are focusing their efforts on attracting investment in their struggles to maintain popularity, the LatAm Mining Cumbre in Santiago heard this week.
Faced with falling approval ratings, in part due to a string of corruption scandals in the region, governments are looking to boost investment in order to deliver economic growth and keep voters happy - with positive results for investors, Maria Luisa Puig, senior analyst at Eurasia Group, told the event.
Fiscal constraints, partly related to the fact that commodity prices have failed to rebound to boom levels, mean administrations are being forced to backtrack on costly policies, such as a pledge by Chile's President Sebastian Pinera to reduce corporate income tax. Pinera has instead fast-tracked measures to make his country more business friendly.
Private equity (PE) could become an increasingly important source of financing for the mining sector, Michael Scherb, founder of mining-focused PE fund Appian Capital Advisory told BNamericas.
While PE has traditionally shunned mining, the two can work hand-in-hand given the right focus on low-risk, low-cost assets, according to Scherb. A large proportion of Appian's investments to date have been in Latin America.
Brazilian mining giant Vale exported 25.7Mt of iron ore from its S11D Carajás mine in H15.7Mt, up from 6.05Mt in the same period of last year. Export revenue from the operation was US$1.2bn, up from US$317mn, according to trade department Secex.
Meanwhile Usiminas is reportedly mulling a US$260mn restart of primary production areas at its Cubatão plant in São Paulo state, halted in 2016.
BHP presented a three-year offer to workers at the Escondida mine in Chile, including maintaining pay and benefits and certain improvements. The offer is valid until July 17.
Meanwhile, Chilean state copper producer Codelco closed collective bargaining negotiations with unions at its Salvador and Andina divisions.
Torex Gold is nearing full production at its US$800mn El Limón-Guajes gold mine in Mexico, where operations were held up by a blockade earlier in the year.
The Guerrero state mine produced 80,000oz gold in Q2. Plant throughput averaged 13,000t/d in June, compared to nameplate capacity of 14,000t/d.
Buenaventura, Peru's largest gold-silver miners, lifted precious and industrial metals output in lifted precious and industrial metals output in Q2 following the ramp-up of its US$362mn Tambomayo mine.
Gold production was 243,350oz, up from 242,599oz in the same period last year, with silver rising to 6.84Moz from 6.61Moz.
Anti-government protests are weighing on operations at B2Gold's main Nicaraguan gold mine. Output at La Libertad fell below expectations in Q2 as supplies were impacted by demonstrations over changes to social policies, in which around 300 people have been killed since April.
Production at B2Gold's El Limón mine in the country also slipped as a result of separate protests over employment.
Bolivian state mining company Comibol replaced the head of its Huanuni tin unit following an explosion that killed 10 workers in April. Mario Felipez replaces Guillermo Dalance as general manager of the division.