The Corporation for the Promotion of Production (Corfo) allocated resources to three mining projects in which the Piñera Morel family had participation through two private investment funds (FIP). This happened in the middle of the first government of Sebastián Piñera.
According to Ciper, mining projects are about Pampa Camarones (Arica), Explorer Cyclone (Taltal) and Don Gabriel. The latter is dedicated to explorations in the regions of Coquimbo and Ataca, according to Corfo documents.
The participation of the Piñera Morel family in these projects is through the FIPs Hope and Co Investment Active Mining Three. In both is present the company Inversiones Santa Cecilia, integrated by the family of the former president.
According to the aforementioned media, Corfo opened on March 13, 2013 -in the middle of Piñera’s first government- a line of financing that allowed the development of mining projects. That day, the agency granted a line of credit to FIP Minería Activa Tres for about US$23.2 million at that time. As of June 2021, that line of financing was still in effect.
Although the Piñera Morel family does not participate in the FIP Minería Activa Tres, it has participation through the Esperanza and Co Inversión Minería Activa Tres funds, in the three projects financed by Corfo. All these FIPs are administered by Larraín Vial.
Previously, on December 21, 2011 , also during the Piñera government – Corfo opened a financing line for US$13.5 million for the FIP Lantánidos. These resources were used to develop a rare earth project in the Biobío Region. That line is already closed and the loan paid off.
“The documents reviewed by Ciper do not show that the Piñeras are present in this project, but other investors related to the Piñeras in mining businesses are present. And also one of its trusted executives, Nicolás Noguera, “says the aforementioned media.
Answer from Piñera Morel family
From the office the former president sent a letter -signed by Andrés Gazitúa, manager of Administration and Finance of Inversiones Odisea, the family office of the Piñera Morel-, indicating that “no company of the Piñera Morel family participates, nor has it participated, as a contributor in any fund destined to mining that has financing from Corfo, so it has not been benefited by these funds”.
According to Ciper, that statement “is a half-truth, because although it does not participate directly in the FIP Active Mining Three, the family has invested in the three projects that were opened with that fund that received the contributions of Corfo.”
The letter adds that “no company of the Piñera Morel family participates, nor has it participated, in the administration of the funds mentioned in its consultation nor in the management of the investments made by said funds.”
“It is important to note that investment funds have an administrator, who is responsible by law for all the management of the fund and its investments. In addition, they have contributors who are passive investors, who do not participate in the management of the fund or in the investments. Contributors to a fund are selected by the administrator and, due to the nature of the fund, are not partners,” the document adds.
“During the second term of former President Sebastián Piñera, investments in venture capital funds of his family’s mining-related companies were managed by blind trusts,” the letter adds.
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