A new gold, silver and copper Project is expected to begin operations in the province of San Juan, with an estimated initial foreign investment of 3 billion dollars and production that would last for almost 50 years. It is called project Constelación, as proposed to the government by the Canadian NGEx, which holds advanced exploration programs in Chile and Argentina, a company listed in Toronto Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.
The project Constelación is the joining of three mines already owned by NGEx, two of them in San Juan, in the border with the province of La Rioja, and the third one in Chile, in the III Region of Atacama, with distances between them of around 10 and 15 kilometres.
According to the Minister of Mining of San Juan, Alberto Hensell, this project would become the largest in South America, even over Pascua-Lama which is located between the province of San Juan and the IV region of Coquimbo in Chile. This bi-national project (comprised by the mines Jose María and Filo del Sol in San Juan, and Los Helados in Atacama) would be feasible now that the exchange rate has been updated, the retentions were eliminated as well as the DJAIs (Prior Declaration of Import) and the limitations on transfers of funds abroad, all of them implemented by the new administration.
The legal framework is based on the protocol signed for the "Project of Mining Vicuña", within the "Treaty between the Republic of Chile and the Republic of Argentina about mining integration and complementation" on January 6, 2006, designed for the projects located along the border between both countries.
Jose Maria estimated resources are 7.4 million pounds of copper; 7.4 million ounces of gold; and 34.5 million ounces of silver, while Los Helados would have 17.6 billions of pounds of copper; 10.1 million ounces of gold; and 92.5 million ounces of silver of indicated resources. One interesting aspect of the project is the combination of gold, silver and coper, which allows to compensate the decrease...