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Regulatory Issues - South America

(last updated 1 Dec 2022)


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Argentina   flag

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Chubut provincial legislature recects initiative to prohibit mining

The Legislature of Chubut rejected this Thursday (May 6), by 13 votes in favor, 12 against and 2 abstentions, the project that proposed to prohibit mining and that had reached the chamber under the form of a "popular initiative", endorsed by 30,000 signatures of citizens. (El Litoral May 6, 2021)

Provincial legislature session to approve mega-mining in Chubut suspended after protests

The Legislature of the province of Chubut suspended the session during which it was intended to enable the activity of mega-mining. The meeting had been called for this Thursday (Mar. 4), but the main authorities decided to postpone it after massive demonstrations and roadblocks throughout the morning by organizations, environmental groups and most of society, who oppose the project. Some of the protests were even carried out in the house of deputies of the province.
"The zoning project expands its coverage to more than 60% of the territory of Chubut, and most of the mining projects are on the banks of the Chubut River, especially those of uranium", said [Flavia Nuñez, member of the Assembly in Defense of the Territory of Puerto Madryn], and added: "The people of Chubut demand the withdrawal of the mining zoning project from legislative treatment." (La Tribu Digital Mar. 4, 2021)

After massive protests, Governor reinstates prohibition to use chemicals in mining in Mendoza Province

After the approval in the Legislature, the provincial government formalized on Tuesday (Dec. 31) the restoration of law 7,722, which had undergone changes that were rejected by environmentalists and self-called neighbors "in defense of water" in different parts of the province.
After a week of mass demonstrations against the law 9,209, Governor Rodolfo Suárez announced the sending of a project to repeal it due to the lack of social consensus and repeated cuts and protests in Mendoza. Finally, the Chambers of Senators and Deputies approved yesterday by majority the regulations.
In this way, as anticipated, the Executive Branch published the repeal of 9,209 in the Official Gazette and restored Law 7,722, which prohibits the use of polluting substances in mining. (Los Andes Dec. 31, 2019)

Thousands march against lifting of prohibition to use chemicals in mining in Mendoza Province

Thousands of people marched this Sunday (Dec. 22) in different locations in Mendoza against the recent modification of a law that prohibited since 2007 the use of toxic substances in mining. Neighbors, local producers and environmentalists began this Sunday morning the protest in the town of San Carlos, belonging to the Uco Valley, about 100 kilometers from the provincial capital. In order to reach the local government house today, protesters demand that radical governor Rodolfo Suárez avoid enacting the amendment of law 7722, promoted by him and approved Friday in an express procedure with the support of Peronism.
The amendment enables the use of substances such as cyanide, and sulfuric acid (only limits mercury) that, according to environmentalists, will cause water pollution in the province. Metal mining, they add, demands large amounts of water, a vital and scarce resource in the region. (La Nacion Dec. 22, 2019)

A calculation by the Mendocina Chamber of Mining Entrepreneurs (Cámara Mendocina de Empresarios Mineros - Camem) estimated the resources that can be extracted. The projects that could advance from the approval of the legal modifications are Sierra Pintada (uranium), San Jorge (copper and gold), Don Sixto (gold, located between San Rafael and Malargüe), Paramillos (lead, silver and zinc) , Elisa (copper), Hierro Indio (iron) and Paramillos Sur (copper). (Ámbito Dec. 24, 2019)

Argentine province of Córdoba passes law prohibiting open pit mining

In an unanimous vote, the single-chamber legislative assembly of Córdoba approved a law prohibiting all open-pit mining (including uranium mining) in the province. (Los Andes Sep. 25, 2008)

Calypso Uranium Corp. files claim to set aside anti-mining law in Mendoza Province

Calypso Uranium Corp. has filed a claim before the Argentine Supreme Court against Mendoza Law No. 7,722, containing a prohibition in regard to the use in mining activities of certain substances including cyanide, sulfuric acid and mercury.
Calypso is requesting the Court to declare Law No. 7,722 unconstitutional on the grounds that it is discriminatory, arbitrary, and violates the Company's rights to conduct a lawful business. The lawsuit also claims the law breaches the principle of separation of powers and the guaranty of fair and equitable treatment set forth in the Argentina-Canada Bilateral Investment Treaty.


Brazil   flag

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Brazil's Chamber of Deputies discusses bill to prohibit uranium mining in cases where there is a risk to indigenous peoples, traditional communities, or the environment

The Chamber of Deputies is analyzing Bill 1246/22, which prohibits uranium mining in the national territory, if there is a risk of harm to indigenous peoples, quilombolas [Afro-Brazilian] and traditional communities, which include agrarian reform settlers, family farmers, artisanal fishermen, fish farmers and foresters.
The project also prohibits uranium mining in cases of risk of contamination of the environment or damage to agricultural or livestock activities. In addition, it determines that the entrepreneur must prove that the mineral exploration does not present risks to the environment and health through licensing in which the opinion of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) is binding. (Câmara dos Deputados Aug. 24, 2022)

Government of Brazil authorizes public-private partnerships for uranium mines

The Government of Brazil authorized the private sector to exploit uranium and other nuclear minerals in association with the State, which until now had exclusive jurisdiction, according to a decree published this Friday (Aug. 12), and which must be ratified by the Parliament. (El Diario Aug. 13, 2022)

Brazil's lower house has approved a constitutional reform that authorizes the private sector to enter the uranium sector, which is currently the exclusive responsibility of state-run Indústrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB).
The state-run firm will now be allowed to partner with private companies for uranium exploration and mining. INB would be able to also team up in related activities, such as processing of uranium ores, uranium enrichment and production, as well as the development of nuclear power technologies, the lower house said in a statement.
The proposed amendment must now be approved by the senate by December 9, otherwise it loses validity. (Mining.com Dec. 1, 2022)

Brazil's government plans to allow public-private partnerships for uranium mines, circumventing parliament

The Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque, said on Thursday (Apr. 11) that "the Executive's intention is to allow uranium mining in Brazil in partnership with the private sector" with only sublegal changes, without the need to pass a Constitutional Amendment (PEC) in Congress. Currently, the Constitution prohibits the participation of companies in uranium exploration because they are strategic activities and with a monopoly of the Union. (epbr Apr. 11, 2019)

New Brazilian Mining Code

Brazil's New Mining Code Undergoing Final Revision - Minister: A new Brazilian mining code, designed to eliminate speculation and speed up development of new projects, including uranium mining, is undergoing final revision, the country's Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao said Friday (Mar. 4).
The text of the code is being revised by a ministry department and will be sent to the government's home office for approval before the end of the month, Lobao told reporters in Brasilia. After gaining government approval, the code will be voted on by the country's congress.
The new code proposes to reduce the length of time companies have to complete exploration of mineral deposits, to prevent companies sitting on deposits then selling development rights to third parties when market prices rise.
Lobao said the new code will have a specific clause regulating extraction of uranium. Currently the mineral, considered strategic, is extracted only by state-owned companies for security reasons. The idea is to speed up the production of uranium in the future to feed Brazil's growing nuclear power sector, which can now enrich uranium domestically. (Dow Jones Newswires Mar. 4, 2011)

Brazil rejects IAEA inspections of uranium processing plants and restrictions on sale of uranium

Brazil's minister of defense, Nelson Jobim, rejected IAEA inspections of uranium processing plants and restrictions on sale of uranium to third countries. The IAEA urges Brazil to sign an additional protocol that imposes controls on the commercialization of uranium and establishes inspection of the processing plants. (Los Andes Mar. 13, 2010)


Peru   flag

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Lithium can be mined at Falchani deposit without touching uranium - therefore no need for radioactive minerals legislation, company claims

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Peru expected to pass lithium and uranium mining laws within 6 months to allow for mining of Falchani deposit

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra told Reuters his government will likely pass laws within six months needed to tap a new lithium and uranium deposit, removing a major hurdle for Canadian miner Plateau Energy Metals' proposed $800 million mine.
Plateau said last month it had found 2.5 million tonnes of high-grade lithium resources and 124 million pounds [47,692 t U] of uranium resources at its Falchani deposit in southern Peru, and was looking for a partner in what it said could become the world's biggest lithium mine.
But the company identified a lack of regulations on mining radioactive materials in Peru as an obstacle. The lithium at Falchani, a hard-rock deposit, can only be mined by also extracting uranium. (Reuters Aug. 10, 2018)

Peru drafting environmental guide for uranium exploration

The Peru-Canada mineral resources reform project (Percan) is working with the mines and energy ministry (MEM) to develop an environmental guide for uranium exploration, project director Anne Slivitzky told BNamericas.
Percan was started in 2003 with financial support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and with technical assistance from a Canadian consortium that includes consulting firms Roche and Golder, as well as the association of community colleges of Canada. The project will finish this year. (Business News Americas Mar. 17, 2011)


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