Chile’s lithium miners consume 65% of Atacama region’s water

Nearly 65% of the water in Chile’s Salar de Atamaca region is used to pump out brines from drilled wells. This has caused groundwater depletion and pollution, forcing local quinoa farmers and llama herders to migrate and abandon settlements. It has also contributed to environment degradation, landscape damage and soil contamination, warned a report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Latin American will contract 9.4% and leaders ask IMF, IDB, World Bank for support

The International Monetary Fund has projected a 9.4% contraction of the GDP, worse than the 4.2% estimated in April. In a teleconference, the presidents of nine Latin American countries -including Chile- discussed with the senior executives of the IMF, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank ways to handle the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Latin American leaders asked for more solutions, including a “possible restructuring” of debt.

Government may veto basic services project and re-enter Congress

The congress-approved project which seeks to benefit customers of basic services, avoiding cuts for non-payment in water, electricity, gas by network and telecommunications accounts, has been delayed due to controversy. As a result, the only options are to enact it or veto it. PULSO projects that the government will veto the basic services project and return it to Congress with various qualms.

BHP announces stricter health protocols in Chile

Global miner BHP Group Ltd announced stricter health protocols after cases of the pandemic at its Escondida copper mine in Chile, reached 150. A spike in cases in the city of Calama had led BHP to route all workers flying into the mines via nearby Antofagasta airport instead, and workers are being encouraged to observe stricter social-distancing measures during trips.

Government wants casinos to increase gross income tax rate from 20% to 25%

Chilean media reported that the government plans to send Congress a proposal to allow automatic renewals of the operating permits of 14 casinos that were scheduled to expire this year. Undersecretary of Finance Francisco Moreno wants the casinos to agree to an increase in their gross income tax rate from 20% to 25% during the 12-month extension. In exchange, the casinos would be allowed to develop ‘remote gaming’ platforms “within their respective perimeter.”

Chilean kiwi exports exceed 95,000 tons

The kiwi season is in full swing in Chile, adding 95,045 tons exported as of week 23-24, a figure that reflects a 12% year-on-year drop in shipped volumes. Europe continues to be the main destination for this Chilean fruit, with the reception of 27,744 tons and an increase of 26% compared to 2018. Second place is the Far East with 26,096 tons (-43%), followed by Latin America with 15,748 tons (-18%), and North America with 13,413 tons (-12%), compared to the same period in 2018.

Energy Kitchen GmbH is developing 95.2-MW wind-plus-storage project in Chile

German renewable energy start-up Energy Kitchen GmbH is developing a 95.2-MW wind farm project featuring 20 MW of battery storage in Chile. The project, named Cabrero, will represent an investment of USD $156 million, according to the environmental impact statement (EIS) submitted to the authorities. The site will be located in the commune of Cabrero, Biobio region, where Energy Kitchen plans to build 17 wind turbines and set up battery containers.