The beginning of March finds the international mining community gathered in Canada, more specifically in Toronto, to attend the annual convention of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC). This is a most important mining industry event, where all actors come together to select work areas, advance their projects and make weighty decisions involving million-worth – and in some cases, multi-billion – worth — investments. Beyond any doubt, the PDAC’s event is the thermometer of the world mining industry where activities pivot around analyses of the status of the industry, whether exploration activities are thriving or shrinking, and which are the regions most attractive to investors. In consonance with PDAC kickoff, the Fraser Institute publishes its survey, reporting on the areas of greater or lesser interest to mining investors, as reflected in a ranking that operates as good credentials for the best positioned locations.
Mining has lately consolidated its recovery from the sharp drop of commodity prices in 2011 –which not surprisingly dragged down exploration activities and made investors look for commercial segments with better and faster returns. Maybe today’s market is not the ideal scenario for investors, but several metal prices have started to regain strength. In the case of precious metals, central banks are leading a sustained buying trend. As for base metals, there is much room for improvement after USA and China have called a truce in the commercial war between the two largest economies on the planet.
Businessmen attending the PDAC analyze and observe new discoveries and work areas. This convention has evolved at a pace with new trends and, beyond any technical plans, segments that used to be considered peripheral have started to acquire significance owing to the fact that they are now decisive elements in the new ongoing struggle for social license: no mining activity can be thought of at present if not seriously involved in community life, environment protection and sustainable development.
What can Argentina offer at PDAC 2020? Its ample, rich and diversified geological potential, which must be supplemented with state policies that are sustainable over time. It is widely known that investors who attend the PDAC are selective and will take their funds to the jurisdictions offering both requirements: geological potential and legal security. Public sector statements in favor of mining have to translate into plausible facts, while representatives of the national administration and of the mining provinces are there to showcase the opportunities offered by our underground riches.