Friday, July 12, 2013

Mining reform (2)

Just reading some other commentaries about the mining reform, a few points that I didn't make or didn't make clearly enough. The moratorium is on NEW mining concessions. The government agreed to not grant 337 requests for new explorations in the next two years. There are already many concessions that have been granted in the past few years, and the moratorium does not cover those. There are 92 concessions for exploration that are active -- 7 of these were granted by the current administration. There are 32 active licenses for exploitation (i.e. extraction) -- that is, companies that could, if they wanted to, start mining activities. Three of these were granted under the current administration. Thus, it remains to be seen whether the moratorium is just window-dressing, just a show to quiet some of the dissent internally or, perhaps more importantly, to satisfy some of the foreign and international critics who have been trying to pressure the government to halt or slow down the pace of granting licenses.

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