BUENOS AIRES – Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Friday announced the elimination of a 5 percent tax on mineral exports, a move aimed at boosting production and investment in the mining sector.
“Today the (export taxes) on mineral exports come to an end,” the business-friendly conservative, inaugurated in December, said in a ceremony in the northwestern highland province of San Juan.
In a statement, the president’s office said Macri urged mining companies to conduct their productive activities “with absolute respect for the environment.”
Macri made the announcement in Barreal, a town in the Andean foothills, accompanied by San Juan Gov. Sergio Uñac and Interior Minister Rogelio Frigerio, among others.
Argentina has been among the South American countries hard hit by the end of the commodity boom.
The country’s mining exports amounted to $3.36 billion in the first 11 months of 2015, 7.5 percent less than in the same period of 2014, according to the IES Investigaciones Economica private consulting firm.
Between January and November of last year, Argentina exported 1.72 billion tons of minerals, with gold accounting for 60.7 percent of the total. Copper’s share of total mineral exports was 11.1 percent, while aluminum and silver each accounted for 6.1 percent.
Besides announcing the elimination of the levy, Macri also recalled the historic crossing of the Andes by Gen. Jose de San Martin and his troops in 1817, part of Argentina’s struggle for independence from Spain.