Mining companies have pledged investments of US $20 billion between now and 2021 in a move to create some 40,000 jobs and boost Argentine industry.
Speaking on Mining Industry Day (yes, apparently that’s a thing) yesterday, the president of the Chamber of Argentine Mining Businesses (CAEM), Marcelo Alvarez, presented a program entitled “CAEM Challenge 20/21” for which Energy and Mining Minister Juan José Aranguren expressed his support.
“This will create 40,000 new jobs, to go along with the 90,000 already existing. Exports will go through the US $25 billion ceiling and the treasury will receive an extra US $6.5 billion by 2021,” said Energy and Mining Minister Juan José Aranguren, explained before shooting off in his new mining-sponsored Ferrari. (Just kidding. About the Ferrari.)
“President Mauricio Macri considers mining, energy and food as windows of opportunity which the world needs,” he continued and argued that there is “prejudice” and “miscommunication” about the sector while stressing that countries like Canada, Australia, Russia, the United States, Sweden and New Zealand are all major players when it comes to mining.
The largest of the new projects will be in El Pachón, Taca-Taca (both in Neuquén Province), Agua Rica (Catamarca Province) and Los Azules (San Juan Province), which the majority of the new work taking place at these locations between 2018 and 2020.
While there are clear environmental issues associated with mining endeavors, there are undeniable benefits to be had from continued investment in mining. Jobs,
lots of big, fat profits, more tax revenue, greater potential for exports, evil profiteering, foreign interest and a greater scope for creating new technology.
And yes, US $20 billion is a lot of money. With US $20 billion, you could donate US $5,000,000 to every panda on earth and still have US $10 billion left over. With US $20 billion you could lose US $19 billion down the side of the couch and still be a billionaire. This is a truly obscene amount of cash which is going to be invested into an industry which is essentially nonrenewable — i.e. finite, limited, restricted.
But “job creation” are the magic words on everyone’s lips: in light of the massive private and public sector layoffs plaguing the country, the guaranteed creation of 40,000 jobs must be music to President Mauricio Macri’s ears. According to a recent report by Tendencias Economics, 140,000 workers have been laid off since Macri took office.