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Adolfo Duranona

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Adolfo Durañona is managing partner of Baker McKenzie’s Buenos Aires office since 2013. He has extensive experience working on corporate and commercial transactions for companies in the oil & gas, mining and natural resources industries. Adolfo has authored several reviews for various publications — including Sweet & Maxwell — usually involving Argentinean investments and mining. He is ranked in Chambers and Partners as a Tier 1 attorney for Argentina, Energy & Natural Resources: Mining.

Resolution No. 84/2022 of the Secretariat of Mining, published in the Official Gazette on 29 November 2022, created the Federal Registry of Mining Suppliers where individuals and legal entities that, due to their activity or corporate purpose, offer goods, inputs or services, including those of technological innovation and knowledge economy, to companies in the mining sector, may register.

National and international public tenders for the geological and feasibility exploration of 11,000 hectares in the Salinas Grandes and Laguna de Guayatayoc basins consisting of seven mining properties, in the province of Jujuy, Argentina, will soon be launched for the eventual development and production of lithium carbonate. The bidding documents are for sale until 28 November 2022 and offers will be opened on 12 December 2022. The Tender is based on a private initiative proceeding initiated by Lithos Desarrollos Energéticos SA, which grants the company preference in consideration of bids.

Argentina has passed Resolutions AFIP 16/2022 and 19/2022 to create a “Vaca Muerta” customs corridor. The purpose of these resolutions is to accelerate the customs clearance process for imports of goods to be used in the construction of the “Gasoducto Presidente Néstor Kirchner” gas pipeline as well as in the development and exploitation of the Vaca Muerta oilfield. Once the resolutions are implemented, they will substantially reduce the amount of time it takes to import covered goods.

Resolution No. 625/2022 of the Secretary of Energy included new hydrocarbon ventures in the regime of tax and customs benefits created by Law No. 19,640 for the Province of Tierra del Fuego. The Regime refers to the Special Custom Area and includes: a) exemptions of federal taxes applicable to activities or operations to be performed in the Special Custom Area or upon goods located in the Special Custom Area; and b) customs benefits applicable to the reception or delivery of merchandise that a company located in the Special Custom Area can make from or to companies located in any of the other operative areas. The exemptions apply to income tax, value-added tax and excise tax.

Decree 277/2022 was regulated by means of Decree 484/2022, published in the Official Gazette on 16 August 2022. The Decree created the Foreign Exchange Market Access Regimes for Incremental Oil Production and Natural Gas Production and provides flexibility to access the foreign exchange market for a percentage of the amount of the incremental production volume or the incremental injection volume, as the case may be. The Regulation establishes the general conditions for accessing the benefit both for E&P companies and their direct suppliers and/or associated third parties.

On 9 June 2022, Joint General Resolution No. 5205/2022 of the Federal Tax Authority and the National Mining Secretariat was published in the Official Gazette. Such resolution repeals Joint General Resolution 4428/2019 and sets the new regulatory framework applicable to subjects that have borne, in a fiscal year and in national jurisdiction, a total tax and/or tariff burden higher than what would have corresponded for being beneficiaries of the tax stability provided in Article 8 of the Mining Investment Law, and wish to request the refund or crediting of the amounts paid in excess according to the provisions of paragraph c) of Article 4° of Annex I of Decree No. 1,089 of 7 May 2003.

Through Resolution No. 89/2022 (“Resolution”), published on 22 February 2022, the National Ministry of Productive Development (“Ministry”) created: (i) “The System of Public Information about Mining Activities in Argentina for the Community” (SIACAM, as its original acronyms in Spanish); and (ii) “The National Roundtable on Mining for the Community” (MEMAC, as its original acronyms in Spanish). Both motions aim to increase the citizens’ confidence in mining.
Mainly, SIACAM will provide public and detailed information on the social, economic and environmental impacts of mining activities, and MEMAC will organize multi-stakeholder dialogue spaces to discuss the benefits, risks and factors to be considered for the development of mining in Argentina.

By Decrees No. 234/2021 and No. 836/2021, the Executive Power established in Argentina an Investment Promotion Regime for Exports, granting benefits to those who make a direct investment in foreign currency of no less than USD 100 million, either for: (i) new investments; or (ii) to expand an existing business unit in industrial forestry, mining, hydrocarbon, manufacturing and agro-industrial activities.

On 3 August 2021, Resolution No. 742/2021 (“Resolution”) was published, whereby the Secretary of Energy (“Secretary”) issued new measures to be applied in favor of the successful bidders of the “RenovAr Program” (“Program”) projects delayed in obtaining commercial authorization or failing to provide the committed energy supply.

These measures, subject to certain requirements, involve the following incentives: (i) reduction of penalties; and (ii) extension of deadline to achieve commercial authorization.