The Ministry of Finance announced new tax measures, as part of initiatives to support SMEs and companies hit by economic crisis caused by the pandemic. One of these measures includes the extension of the suspension of Provisional Monthly Payments (PPM) during the months of July, August and September, for all companies that register a decline in gross income equal to or greater than 30% for the January-May 2020 period, compared to the same period last year.
Sabrina Souviron Gumucio
The Chilean ministry of national assets has awarded land concessions for the development of renewable energy projects to 8 power producers, expecting around 2,614 MW of new capacity. The 8 power producers are: Enel Green Power Chile, Caldera Solar, Copiapo Energia Solar, Solarcentury Chile, Sonnedix Chile Holding, Solarpack Chile Limitada, Engie Energia Chile and EDF En Chile Holding. Based on the bids, the new projects will involve investments totalling US $2.536 billion.
According to data released by state copper agency Cochilco, Chile has managed to boost its production in the face of the outbreak, churning out 492,500 tonnes from its sprawling mines in May, a 1% increase over the same month the previous year. The country’s output since January has risen 3.9%, to 2.4 million tonnes.
Spanish infrastructure builder Elecnor SA has confirmed its involvement in the construction of the 185-MW Cerro Tigre wind farm project in Chile. According the company, it secured the contract to deliver the full balance-of-plant (BOP) package for the project, including turbine installation and the construction of substations, transmission lines and other infrastructure. The project is promoted by Mainstream Renewable Power and is part of the Ireland-based developer’s 571-MW Condor wind and solar portfolio.
Tesoro Resources has started infill and extensional drilling at its flagship El Zorro gold project in Chile, with two rigs onsite at the high-grade Ternera prospect. Drilling is initially targeting Ternera and following up on previous intersections that include numerous intervals exceeding 100 grams per metre of gold.
Chile’s economic activity fell by 15.3% in May from the same month in 2019, according to the Central Bank, hitting yet another historic low as measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus left many out of work and businesses shuttered. The bank’s IMACEC economic activity index encompasses about 90% of the economy tallied in gross domestic product figures.
With the Imacec in May dropping by 15.3%, the market predicts what the June Imacec could be. According to Banco Santander, the June Imacec should have fallen less intensely than in the previous months, but the annual variation would be a little lower than in May, around -16%. Meanwhile, Mauricio Carrasco from Econsult, projects a further deterioration in activity in June, with a decrease between 15-20%.
The government of Chile has cut the salaries of 693 of its members. The cuts ranged from 1% to 25%. President Piñera’s salary was cut by 10%, while 55 Members of The House, 43 Senators and 24 Ministers had their salaries cut by 25%. The President has set up a special Advisory Board (Consejo de Alta Dirección Pública) to take on the job of coming up with the percentage cuts to make sure that it would not be considered a conflict-of-interest. If the president signs the off on this new measure, it would allow for additional cuts for around 10,000 public servants’ salaries.
Global miner BHP has announced that it would begin to scale down activity at its small Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile amidst the pandemic. BHP said the new plan would mean a gradual reduction in staff that would begin this year and span the coming four months. The company said it would continue to “look for medium and long-term alternatives that would allow it to extend its mining operation beyond 2023.”
California-based energy infrastructure company, Sempra Energy, has completed its exit from South America with the sale of assets in Chile and Peru. The company raised roughly $5.82 billion in combined cash proceeds from its divestment in the two countries. The Chilean sale was completed last week and generated around $2.23 billion.