Currently viewing Global edition

Chile mining nationalisation slim possibility

Nationalisation of mining companies is Chile is a remote possibility despite the environment and economic model committee of Chile’s Constitutional Convention voting in favour of a proposal, which if included in the new constitution, would give the government one year to nationalise companies in the metallic and non-metallic minerals, and hydrocarbons sectors.
Chile mining nationalisation slim possibility Chile mining nationalisation slim possibility Chile mining nationalisation slim possibility Chile mining nationalisation slim possibility Chile mining nationalisation slim possibility

Chile's president elect Gabriel Boric

Companies working in the mining sector in Chile see little chance that the proposal will prosper and make it to the final draft constitution given that it has already been rejected once for inclusion by the plenary session of the Constitutional Convention. A second rejection by the plenary session will see the proposal be dropped for good.

"The environment committee is one of several committee's making proposals for the new constitution. To date, more than 700 proposals have been made. The environment committee is comprised of some of the most left-wing and radical members of the 155 constitutional representatives whose views and ambitions do not reflect those of the broader Constitutional Convention or the country at large," the president and CEO of a mining developer told Mining Journal.

A proposal needs to pass a vote in the plenary session of the Constitutional Convention by a two-thirds majority to be included in the draft constitution. Once the Constitutional Convention has agreed the draft constitution around mid-year, it will then proceed to an mandatory plebiscite sometime around September where the general population will vote to accept it or reject it.

"The right-wing media in Chile is going hard on the concept of the nationalisation of the mining sector to scare people and undermine the public's confidence in some of the environment committee members for making such radical proposals," the executive said.

The constitutional process will be a considerable challenge for the incoming government of president elect Gabriel Boric who takes office March 11. Boric, who was elected to deliver a more equitable and inclusive Chile, will oversee the constitutional process over which he has no input, given that the members of the Constitutional Convention were elected by an independent vote.

A draft constitution that features too many radical changes faces the prospect of not being voted in by the populace, which could result in a general political crisis as it would mean the existing 1990 constitution would continue to be in effect. A draft constitution that does not seek to effect enough change could also generate crisis by not distancing itself enough from the 1990 constitution.