The mining industry in Argentina continues to expand following a sustained upward trend. Nevertheless, there are a significant number of mining projects throughout Argentina that have not reached their full stage of development. Regulatory changes in general investment legislation and in specific mining-sector legislation in the early nineties favored a significant increase in foreign investment in the industry. The sector’s growth propelled local demand for mining machinery and equipment. Most of the 130+ companies with operations in Argentina reduced their activity level significantly during the world crisis in order to preserve their assets. Most of the market players are junior companies; however sector dynamics and industry expert opinion coincide that investments will continue to favorably evolve in the marketplace.
The mining landscape in Argentina encompasses major players such as Rio Tinto, Barrick, BHP Billiton, Xstrata, Anglogold and Teck; intermediate companies like Silver Standard, Pan American Silver, Coeur D’Alene, and juniors like Minera Andes, Exeter, TNR Solitario, Mansfield and Minera Hochschild, among others. Current investment is mainly of Canadian origin (approximately 40 percent), Argentine state owned companies (approximately 20 percent), the United States and Australia. Countries such as Switzerland and South Africa also have a growing presence, and China, Brazil, Peru and Japan are increasing their participation.
Several new mines are expected to be built in the next five to ten years, which represent future business opportunities for U.S. suppliers of mining equipment and machinery. Nevertheless, existing mines currently in operation also represent significant potential for the provision of machinery, equipment and parts.