A proposal to give Chile exclusive mining rights over lithium, hydrocarbons and rare earth metals as well as majority ownership of copper mines in the country has failed to pass the constitutional assembly, reported Reuters.
The proposal, which faced strong opposition from the country’s mining industry, needed a supermajority of 103 votes to be included into the draft of a new constitution. After receiving only 66 votes in favor, it will now return to the environmental commission for renegotiation before facing a second vote.
The Institute of Mining Engineers released a statement prior to the vote in opposition of the proposal, stating that “temporary authorizations, that don’t grant property, generates a type of potential arbitrariness,” which could force mining companies to re-evaluate operating in the country.
Reuters said the assembly passed several articles for inclusion in the draft constitution during the recent vote including one that states mining regulations will consider environmental protections and the finite, non-renewable nature of mining resources. It also approved reshaping water governance and expanding protections for wetlands, native forests and land essential to the water cycle.
Chilean voters will decide to approve or reject the draft constitution on September 4.