March 22, 2023

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Chile’s parliament rejects plans to nationalize parts of the mining sector | Chile

Constitutional Assembly in Chile He rejected plans to nationalize parts of the important mining industry in a blow to progressive hopes of reforming the political settlement under the neoliberal Pinochet era.

The proposal, known as Article 27, was to give the state exclusive mining rights for lithium, rare metals and hydrocarbons and a majority stake in copper mines.

But it faced fierce opposition from the mining sector and was voted in last week in a defeat for progressive hopes of redistributing wealth in the world’s largest copper-producing country.

The overthrow of the 1980 constitution espoused by the right-wing dictator General Augusto Pinochet was the main target of the anti-government protests in 2019 that it succeeded in establishing. A constitutional assembly to oversee reform.

The country’s environment commission submitted several variations of the article for a vote on Saturday, but they all failed to achieve the landslide 103 votes needed to pass the draft constitution.

However, the separate provision, Article 25, which states that miners must allocate “resources to repair damage” to the environment and adverse effects where mining occurs, has already won an overwhelming majority and will be included in the draft constitution.

The council also agreed to ban mining in glaciers, protected areas and areas necessary to protect the water system. Articles were also approved that guarantee farmers and indigenous people the right to traditional seeds, the right to safe and accessible energy and the protection of the oceans and atmosphere.

Voting to approve articles ends after Saturday, and new committees responsible for fine-tuning the text take over on Monday. The final draft is due in early July and citizens will vote to approve or reject it on September 4.

The Environment Committee, which is dominated by self-styled environmental components, saw only one of 40 of its proposals approved during their first vote in the General Assembly.

The commission has since amended its proposals, but its articles including expanding protected lands, restricting private water rights, and making combating climate change a state obligation were included in the new draft text.

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