State and private agency in Chilean Copper mining and their link to local development

Authors: Johannes Rehner*, Pontificia Universidad Catolica De Chile
Topics: Economic Geography, Natural Resources, Latin America
Keywords: Mining, extractivism, local development, Chile
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 2:40 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Gallier A, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Mining in Chile has experienced a massive expansion during the last 20 years and also a strong privatization process and tax level in Chilean copper mining on the is low. Nevertheless the state is still a major agent, being the state-owned company CODELCO an exceptional case in global metal mining and an outstanding source of fiscal income. It has been stated that economic effects on local level are limited as mining is rather an enclave than a cluster (Phelps et al. 2016). As copper mines are mostly located in scarcely populated areas, localities of extraction where most of negative externalities are concentrated contrast with the central state who receives most of the fiscal benefits. Thus the role and legitimation of extractive activities in general and private agents in particular is questioned and directly linked to scale.
This paper discusses the role of copper mining in the generation of state and private revenue and especially its re-distribution in space, and their link to urban economic development. We present the spatial structure of fiscal income, levels of re-distribution from mining regions towards the center and also towards less developed regions and contrast these with public agency in the mining regions and localities through a comparative analysis of private and public initiatives to foster development in three important cities in mining regions in order to identify their importance in economic terms and as an element of legitimation of extractivism.

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