The finance commission of Chile’s lower house has rejected a bill looking to increase mining royalties, by seven votes to five.
The bill, which aims to set a royalty of 3% ad valorem for copper and lithium, and which received a favourable reading by the mining commission in March 2020, will be returned to the Chamber of Deputies. Its passage had been frozen in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Half the funds obtained from the royalty would go into a regional convergence fund to finance regional and communal development projects. The other half would directly finance projects to mitigate, compensate or repair environmental impacts from mining activity in communities near mining projects.
The rule would not apply to operations producing less than 12,000 tonnes per year of copper or 50,000tpa of lithium carbonate equivalent.
Industry body, Sonami, believes no additions should be made to the government take given the actual system includes a mechanism for the government to receive higher rents during times of higher prices.
“The Chilean copper industry is at the limit of the tax burden it can bear and needs that legal stability is respected in the country as lawmakers reignite a debate on raising royalties,” said Sonami president Diego Hernández, reported Reuters.