Chile mining firms call for moderation after Boric election win
Gabriel Boric secured victory as Chile’s new president on Dec. 19. The leftist former law student comfortably beat right-wing rival José Antonio Kast, who conceded defeat on Sunday evening after a divisive election race.
It is a political victory that has caused considerable concern for Chile’s mining sector which congratulated Boric for his win and called for moderation and dialog to safeguard the industry in the world’s largest copper producing nation.
Chile’s National Mining Society (Sonami) said in a statement that voters have “sent a clear message” about the need to maintain Chile’s economic and social development.
“We trust that the spirit of programmatic convergence, moderation and openness to dialog shown during the last week of the campaign will prevail,” it added.
Reuters reported that Boric has pledged to overhaul Chile’s market-orientated economic model that dates back to the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, credited for driving decades of growth but also fostering inequality.
The country is also rewriting its constitution, which could see environmental regulations tightened, and lawmakers are looking to raise taxation on mining firms, who are currently benefiting from record high global metals prices.
Boric has said that he would look to create a state lithium firm and criticized privatization of the sector, where Albemarle and SQM are currently the main two players.
State-owned Codelco is the world largest copper miner, but there are many large multinationals in Chile’s copper sector including BHP, Glencore, Anglo American and Antofagasta.