South American News Briefs

By Ania Swiatoniowski

Brazil – Bolognesi Participacoes SA has announced plans to invest almost US$2.3 billion in two LNG-fired energy plants in Brazil. The private company won a contract at Brazil’s power auction (November 28th) to sell energy in the country for 25 years beginning in 2019. The two plants will have a capacity of 1,238 MW each and will be operational in 2019. The company will be the first to offer LNG energy in Brazil other than the state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

Argentina – Canadian mining giant Goldcorp (TSX CA:G; NYSE GG) will be opening its Cerro Negro gold and silver mine for commercial production in February 2015. Located in the Santa Cruz province of Argentina, the mine produced its first gold bar in July 2014. The company estimates that the Cerro Negro mine will produce 4,000 tonnes/day of gold and silver concentrate once fully operational. The high grade mine has an expected 23 year life span. According to Goldcorp, Cerro Negro has proven and probably gold mineral reserves totalling 5.74 million ounces. The mine is expected to have a significant effect on Goldcorp’s development over the coming years. The company maintains assets in 16 other mines in operational or developmental stages located in Canada, the US, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, Argentina, and Chile.

Latin America Region – A $1 billion fund to finance geothermal energy projects in Latin America was announced on December 8th at the UN climate summit in Lima, Peru. The geothermal energy fund will finance construction of at least 350 MW production capacity and $75 million will be allocated for risk mitigation projects. Steady growth in GDP has lead to increasing energy demands and costs throughout Latin America and even modest further growth will cause energy demand to double by 2030, according to the lenders’ announcement. The fund was designed by German development bank, Kfw, and has lenders from Europe, Asia, and the Americas: including Kfw, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the Development Bank of Latin America. It is known that parts of Latin America have significant geothermal potential, including Chile, Honduras, and Argentina.

Caribbean Region – The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has authorized a common fisheries policy for implementation by its 15 Member States and 5 Associate Member countries in an effort to push Blue Economic Growth in the region. The Caribbean Community Common Fisheries Policy (CCCFP) is a binding agreement between CARICOM countries focusing on co-operation and collaboration in conservation, management, trade, economy, food safety, and sustainable usage of the region’s fisheries.

Uruguay – The Uruguayan beef market is expected to see significant increases in production and sales in 2015. Uruguay’s National Beef Institute (INAC) has indicated that the country is in the final steps of opening up the Japanese market with hopes for 2015. Uruguay is the only country that maintains a completely computerized traceability system for individual cows: from calf to beef product. The system is accessible by gauchos, government, and consumers producing a highly transparent process of production. The traceability system is mandated by law but the government pays for it in full, from the smallest to the largest farm. The investment is intended to make Uruguayan beef more competitive with many countries demanding increasingly high safety standards in the face of disease outbreaks such as Mad Cow Disease. Japan has maintained very strict safety standards on beef imports and has been a difficult market for beef farmers anywhere to breach. The Japanese market will be high end and focused on price and quality. In Uruguay, where cattle outnumber people by four to one, beef is a major national industry and international export.

Resources Quarterly - Winter 2014-2015
This article originally appears in the Winter 2014-2015 edition of Resources Quarterly.

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