On August 31, 2022, the latest amendment to Law No. 387, Special Law on the Exploration and Exploitation of Mines, was published in the Official Gazette La Gaceta.

This new Law No. 1128 of Reform and Additions to Law No. 387 makes changes in only five articles, but its importance is not irrelevant to the sector.

Some changes deal with the powers assumed by the Ministry of Energy and Mines (MEM) previously under ENIMINAS, including the administration of the Mining Development and Promotion Fund and all its assets.

Two of the subparagraphs added to Article 77 regarding the powers of the MEM are significant.

  • Subparagraph g) enables it to authorize the origin and monitoring of mineral exports of Pawn and Loan Brokerage Houses and Dealers of precious metals or precious stones. The MEM will be empowered to close or intervene in these entities.
  • Subparagraph h) empowers it to appoint auditors in cases of non-compliance with the provisions of the mining concessions.

Finally, within article 84bis, related to concessions in Mining Reserve Areas*, an added provision mandates that those interested in acquiring such a concession subscribe to alliances or forms of participation proposed by the MEM.

*Mining Reserve Areas include concessional but limited areas for small-scale mining exploitation.