His company (McEwen Mining Inc.) owns a large-scale advanced porphyry copper exploration project called “Los Azules”, near the border with Chile, in the Calingasta Department of the San Juan province.
The president and majority owner of the mining company, which in addition to Los Azules owns (together with Hochschild) a gold and silver mine in the province of Santa Cruz, and ventures in the United States (Nevada and Ontario) and Mexico; expects to increase the value of Los Azules by starting the prefeasibility stage that will last for the next year and a half.
Last November, the company reported that activity at the project is “progressing rapidly” and that in the area “the exploration road has been reopened, three work camps have been established, the local workforce has been expanded, and preparations are being made to start a 10-drill program.”
The businessman pointed out that these advances were delayed by the Omicron variant and by the preservation work on fossils discovered in the process.
Although McEwen does not plan to sell the project before achieving further progress, he has already received expressions of interest from large producers such as Vale, Anglo American and Barrick Gold, which “is a sign of the auspicious horizon for copper in the energy transition and the growing attractiveness of Argentina as a destination for mining”, said the businessman.
“We have already seen several of the leading companies come and take a look at Argentina and that, in itself, gives greater comfort to investments from abroad”McEwen noted.
Argentina has 87 mining projects in different stages of progress, with investment announcements that, between January 2020 and December 2021, totaled US$9,314.36 million. Canada, the country of origin of the McEwen company, leads the inflow of capital, according to a report by the Ministry of Mining.
The Government considers that if any of the many projects in the pipeline materialize, exports of more than US$10 billion could be achieved by 2030, that is, more than tripling the almost US$3 billion of last year.
Although gold continues to be one of the explored resources and the main driver of exports, copper (49.47%) and lithium (36.3%) account for most of the future investments; and in the case of carbonate, Argentina is positioned as the fourth largest producer in the world.