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Politics Are Turning Against Copper Mining in Top Producer Chile

  • Assembly chosen to draft charter largely in hands of left wing
  • Government’s defeat at polls may add momentum to royalty bill
Chileans from left-wing parties celebrate victory in this weekend’s elections in Santiago.
Chileans from left-wing parties celebrate victory in this weekend’s elections in Santiago.
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Chilean copper mining is facing its biggest regulatory threat since the industry took off more than three decades ago.

Triggered by the worst social unrest in a generation, Chile just elected an assembly that places the writing of a new constitution largely in the hands of the left wing, with the ruling coalition falling well short of the numbers needed to exercise veto powers. After the weekend vote, the nation’s stocks, bonds and currency tumbled, while copper futures rose.