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Thoughts on mining in Latin America

Potential is nothing without control

I made a quick trip to Santiago, Chile this week to attend the 1st Lithium Forum on behalf of Benchmark Minerals. Lithium is drawing increasing interest due to its use in lithium-ion batteries, which are what power electric vehicles, and increasingly, energy storage applications tied to renewable power generation resources.

Whilst Western Australia, Argentina, Canada and the US are seeing investment in the exploration and development of lithium supply, Chile—which has the world’s largest reserves—is being left behind. Any guesses why? Government policy and administration of the sector of course. This reminded me of the famous 1995 Pirelli tyres billboard featuring US sprinter (and then world champion) Carl Lewis about power requiring control.

I have just written a piece for Benchmark about the development of lithium in Western Australia and the contrast with Chile is striking. The government is even investing in the sector as part of the country’s green energy future. Chile has adopted a rent extraction and industrialization approach however a that couple with a lack of clear rules means new investment is sitting on the sidelines.

Mining Journal Research will soon be publishing its first World Risk Report and it will be interesting to see how jurisdictions in the Americas stack up.

CGS update

The commercialisation of CGS2017 has gone very well and we are done to the last few sponsorship packages and commercial exhibit spaces, so if you are interested in these please let me know soon as we expect to be sold out as we head into September.

CGS2017 is now about three months away so we are about to start the marketing to sell entrance tickets to CGS2017 so expect to receive a couple of emails about this over the next couple of months.

I can also confirm that Gloria Prieto from the Colombian Geological Survey (SGC) will be participating in the copper session and talking about the work the government has done to outline copper potential in Colombia. FYI, copper is the first metal that the government wants to launch for the strategic minerals tender process and so has been a focus for work at the SGC, so this promises to be a very interesting presentation.

In closing, long flights give one a change to read, listen to music and watch movies. The power/control function jumped out at me here too with Never Back Down. I also heard this song that took me back to my teenage years. Enjoy.


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