Argentina’s mining industry is planning to develop seven copper projects across the country, to help triple its mining exports by 2026.
These projects would require an investment of $25-30bn and would be developed over the next 4-6 years, Ricardo Daniel Martinez, explorations and operations manager at Argentina Fortescue told market participants during a the webinar titled “COVID-19: Challenges and opportunities in the Argentine Mining Industry.”
The copper output from these seven projects is estimated to total 50mn mt annually, Martinez said, adding that copper mining exports would increase to $5.4bn once these projects became operational, with the ability to scale up and triple Argentina’s overall mining exports to $10.7bn by 2030.
He identified the seven copper mines as Josemaría, Los Azules, Filo del Sol, Altar, El Pachón, Agua Rica, and Taca Taca.
Miners operate around 34 mining projects in Argentina at an investment of $27.2bn, with copper representing more than 61pc of the total investment, he noted.
The Argentine mining industry estimates exploration budgets to decreased by 29pc in 2020 to $6.9bn compared with last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has caused country-wide shutdowns. Copper budgets will be hit hardest and are expected to decline by 40pc compared with 2019.