MAC/20: Mines and Communities

ARGENTINA

Published by MAC on 2007-02-27

ARGENTINA

Catamarca to award loans to small-scale miners

BN Americas

27th February 2007

Mining authorities in Argentina's Catamarca province have launched a plan to award loans to small-scale miners to promote the sector.

"Small-scale miners will be able to take out loans of up to 300,000 pesos (US$100,000) to ensure the development of new ventures, generate employment and use resources in the best way possible," an official at the Catamarca mining ministry told BNamericas.

The loans will have a one-year grace period and must then be repaid within 36 months. They will be managed by the mining promotion development fund and awarded after projects are evaluated and their development ensured, the official said.

Catamarca's is home to gold-silver miner and metals refiner Yacimientos Mineros Agua de Dionisio, which controls the exploration and mining rights at the Bajo de la Alumbrera copper-gold mine that is 50% owned by Swiss miner Xstrata (LSE: XTA).

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