The idea of some sectors to nationalize mining returns and it is worrying, because the State is not efficient as an entrepreneur. The investments that are needed to develop mining in the next projects are long-term and there are periods of loss. The State, which today must be concerned with social welfare, would have to dedicate many resources – which often represent the total portfolio of one year of the fiscal budget – to the development of a single project.
With this, they are asking for the State to make a significant investment, which it cannot sustain. Cochilco has said that the investment portfolio until 2030 in mining is more than US$68,000 million; this, without counting the several billion dollars that it means to keep private mining operating. The jobs that are going to be lost and the great impact that this is going to generate are not considered either.
There is even talk of not paying (compensation), of going against the private sector. I think it is not the war that we have to make today. We must focus on providing alternatives that allow greater collection, through taxes and, perhaps, greater control, if that is what worries us.
Chile cannot grow without developing its mining and maintaining its competitive position. The fact that any voice, without a technical basis, can make value judgments and that a community can interfere in the development of projects is very serious.
We all want to live well, but attacking mining prevents progress towards social welfare, there is no other industry in Chile that can generate resources for that welfare. The mining industry, with the resources it moves, generates a habitat that allows research and development on its own, as well as the generation of startups and local enterprises.
We need investment, that allows for more collection and thus projects are generated on social issues that will allow us to resume the pace of development that we had.