Take physic, pomp

Pascua Lama: Merry Christmas Señor Che Politico

The planned mine at Pascua Lama

Let’s catch up on the recent story about Barrick’s (ABX) Pascua Lama gold project high high up in the mountains and lying, quite literally, on the border of Chile and Argentina:
  • Argentina’s parliament passed a law to protect all glaciers on national territory.
  • The Pascua Lama project involves the removal, or repositioning (or whatever word Barrick uses) of a glacier way up there to get at the gold mineral body.
  • Therefore, the law as passed would have scuppered the planned mine once and for all (I think…most of the site is on the Chilean side of the border. I honestly don’t know if it could go ahead in a reduced form only on the Chilean side, but I highly doubt it).
  • So Klishtina decided to veto the law and did so on October 22nd. This means Barrick can still build its mine.
Which brings us to the present day and the next bit gets interesting. This is because Argentina’s lower house is re-introducing the law to parliament. It needs to get through the lower (Deputies) and upper (Senate) houses to make it into law now. And as it is a second passage it needs a two-thirds majority from both chambers. But the rub here is that if it does pass, the President of the Republic is legally obliged to sign it into law. No more vetoes allowed.

I can hear those Argentine politicos rubbing their hands right now! That’s because they have the fate of a multimillion, nay billion, dollar project at their mercy, the stuff dreams are made of in their circles, quite frankly. Also, worth adding into the mix that ABX is a worldly-wise company and understands….hmmmm, how shall we say this?……understands the power of effective lobbying.

Therefore Otto makes the following prediction: The vote to reinstall the glacier protection law will get through the lower house. It will then get a majority in the Senate but will fall short of the 2/3rds needed. This proposed law will get nowhere and Barrick successfully negotiates another hurdle in its “build a mine at Pascua Lama” marathon

Related Post
Barrick, Pascua Lama, Argentina, Chile

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