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The mining industry is betting on growth and looking for Santa Fe suppliers

The mining industry is betting on growth and looking for Santa Fe suppliers
The mining industry is betting on growth and looking for Santa Fe suppliers

The mining industry represents one of the sectors with the greatest growth prospects in terms of production and generation of foreign currency for Argentina towards 2030 and the Santa Fe industry has great opportunities to increase its participation as suppliers to the sector. The Argentine Chamber of Mining Companies (Caem) made a presentation at the Rosario Stock Exchange (BCR) and highlighted that if favorable expectations for the mining sector are confirmed, opportunities could extend beyond the regions where they are carried out. projects and impact provinces such as those that make up the Central Region.

Alejandra Cardona, Executive Director of Caem, highlighted that “the provinces of the Central Region can contribute to mining development as they have done with agriculture and the metalworking industry.”

National mining production is led by gold and Argentina is the 4th country in reserves in Latin America. They are followed by silver -10th global producer-; copper, with 5 world-class projects in an advanced state; lithium, with the second largest reserve on the planet and metals such as zinc, lead and industrial rocks and minerals.

“Mining exports began to gain momentum in the mid-90s, with the sanction of the Mining Investment Law, which provided the reference framework for Argentina to become an attractive scenario for investments,” indicated the representative of the chamber that brings together to more than 170 companies.

Growth was sustained until 2013, when exports were around US$5 billion. After hitting the lowest point of the last decade in 2020, last year the sector reached US$4,023 million in exports.

Supplier development

As explained by Caem, the mining industry only imports 1.5% of the total it exports, making it a genuine generator of foreign currency for the country. “With the entry of new ventures into production, especially lithium and copper, we have a moderate scenario that gives us exports of almost US$12,000 million by 2032. Although there are official projections that raise that figure to US$16,500,” he detailed. Nadav Rajzman, head of Economy and Supplier Development of the entity, another of the speakers of the day.

“The main opportunities that the sector has today have to do with the immense variety of suppliers that the mining industry demands. It needs not only geologists or engineers; “It needs communicators, doctors, vehicle drivers, specialists from other productive sectors, infrastructure development,” said Cardona within the framework of the cycle of conferences organized by the Rosario entity under the name of Mirada Experta.

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In that sense, he added: “It is often promoted that this development mainly impacts communities close to the projects, but we understand that in the coming years, if everything goes as we hope, there will be a shortage in the mining provinces and it will be necessary to look for this offering of products and services in the rest of the country.”

The opportunities for Santa Fe

In principle, the opportunities to join the productive chain for Santa Fe pass, fundamentally, through the metalworking industry. “It has great potential that can contribute to mining development as a whole. In recent years there was a lack of spare parts for machines or trucks due to obstacles with imports, for example, and local solutions were tested.”said the executive.

Given the possibility of an increase in imported products and inputs for the chain, Cardona explained that many small businesses have managed to standardize their products through big brands and continue in the industry. “Having a local provider that can assist in a timely and appropriate manner is of great value,” he stressed.

As countries step up their climate ambitions, clean energy technologies will become the fastest growing demand segment for most minerals, the report reveals. In the case of copper, for example, demand would triple by 2040. If lithium is taken as the case, the supply for the coming years seems to be covered with the projects that are underway, but towards 2030 a growing deficit is seen. , which will need to be covered with greater production.

The Large Investment Incentive Regime (Rigi) of the Base Law, promoted by the government of Javier Milei, was another of the points addressed during the meeting. “It is a tool that complements the mining investment law. It opens a window that facilitates the entry of large capital that can boost lithium and copper projects, mainly. We will have to see over time what happens, we are still waiting for its final approval and regulation,” he pointed out.

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