LMEWEEK-Chile to streamline mine permit process

miércoles 22 de octubre de 2014 16:01 GYT

* Mining minister sets up team to identify inefficiencies

* Says permit revue to be completed by end-Q1 2015

* Says delays possible on build out of Codelco megaprojects

By Maytaal Angel and Silvia Antonioli

LONDON, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Chile's mining minister said she is working to streamline the increasingly cumbersome mine permit process in a bid to support an industry that is crucial for the country's economic growth.

Resource intensive Chile is facing a slowdown in mining investment. Billions of dollars worth of projects have been put on ice or delayed, caught up in red tape and/or opposed by local communities.

The centre-left government of President Michelle Bachelet recently called a 60-day review of ministerial permitting processes, with a view to improving efficiency while still protecting the environment.

"We have set up a specific team to revise the permitting process for mining investment," Aurora Williams, Chile's minister of mines, told Reuters at the annual London Metal Exchange (LME) Week industry gathering in London.

"There are various inefficiencies. For example there can be duplications where two institutions ask for the same documents. Sometimes there are permits that are asked that do not really add value to the final evaluation of the project."   Continuación...