Iván Arriagada, CEO Antofagasta plc and President of EXPOMIN Congress 2018
“The expectations I have is that EXPOMIN will bring mining activities closer to civil society”
The International Congress will host 13 seminars, workshops and round table sessions where the most relevant industry concerns will be discussed, such as Innovation, Technology, Competiveness, Sustainability (Environment, Community) Gender, Productive Efficiency, Energy, Human Resources, Investments as well as Business.
The International EXPOMIN Congress is one of the most convening spaces and, where all eyes of the mining sector will be placed on, and for which this 2018, XV version theme is “INNOVATION FOR MINING DEVELOPMENT”, that goes hand by hand with new times that the industry is living through in terms of technology development and challenges to be faced in the future.
The meeting will be hosted by Ivan Arriagada, CEO of Antofagasta plc, who has a favorable view of the gathering of the most outstanding exponent of Chilean and world mining, who will discuss the main challenges the sector is facing and how innovation can contribute to its development.
From this perspective, Ivan Arriagada spoke with EXPOMIN media representatives and stated that in fact, Chilean civil society many times does not acknowledge the relevance that the mining sector has recognizing from part of the companies revealing that “we have been deficient in sharing and demonstrating what the industry does, I think EXPOMIN in that sense enables showcasing the industry, creating a space to bring the industry closer to civil society and from that perspective to again value the role that mining plays in the development of the country”.
“The expectation I have, is that EXPOMIN will work to close the gap between mining and civil society, its authorities, its representatives, its citizens, and its students so they will be able to revalue what is mining, what can be and what has contributed and will continue to contribute in the development of the country, he explains”.
- Why is it so important for the industry to carry out fair such is EXPOMIN and within its context the realization of the congress “Innovation for mining development”?
The first thing to state is that mining is the most important industry in the country, which historically has contributed more to the development of Chile and that is continuing doing so. EXPOMIN is a tradeshow that supports the industry, enabling within the Congress framework reflection regarding the most relevant concerns as the most important issues, challenges, opportunities and expectations that society has set on mining and, on the other hand, it may position products, services to contribute to the innovation and improvement of the mining industry´s productivity.
- Today we are living in a scenario with clear signs of optimism, with better copper prices and with an increase in the sector employment rate. Facing this reality, what is the importance of the subject to be discussed in the Congress? From your point of view what else would you add?
I think that we have thought out the Congress as a space to cover the most important issues of the industry, among these, I would mention, innovation, which it has been set apart as the most important driver because we think it can contribute to the development of the sector and that, will allow us to take a leap forward in productivity, improvements, sustainably. So we see a tremendous ground for new technologies, and these can lead to disruptive changes in the way we do mining, with the aim at being more sustainable, more competitive, reasons we have placed the challenges that the industry faces in innovation as part of the main hub.
Another subject that is of extreme importance for us, is the diversity and inclusion, and in that scope particularly, we have scheduled a session that takes the role of women in mining, as its central subject and of greatest relevance. Half of the human talent comes from the female gender and in general, women are under-represented in the mining industry, since in Chile women’s participation is at around 15%, so we think there is an enormous window of improvement for the participation of women, and along with this enriching our company’s teams.
- What is the overall perspective of the mining industry for the remaining part of the year and how will it be for 2018, considering the recent increase in copper prices.
From a market condition perspective, for the mining industry and in particularly for the copper industry, the sector is coming out of low price and contraction period, but we are expectant in terms of market projection in the next two or three years.
We think that we have come out of this low price period and we have carefully seen how the copper prices have been recovering. We estimate that copper has a very important role to continue playing in the growth and development of emerging economies, in particular, of the Chinese economy, and in modern economy which is marked by electro-mobility, energy efficiency, thus our insights for copper market are favorable from now on.
Additionally, I think the above statement is very positive for EXPOMIN and the Congress since it seems to me that it will act as a suitable momentum, in a time where the industry is looking for investment and where we are all looking with greater optimism for the future development of the industry.
- The need of public and private effort is highlighted and reiterated mining investment projects, from your point of view which is the role of the academia in backing the debate and analysis of the requirements that the mining sector faces.
I think that in the academic field there is a huge area to support the development of the industry and tackling the challenges that we have in very diverse areas such as the use of water, energy, optimization of our productive processes, ore leaching, as well as others. We like to think that we can have a more aligned cooperation with the academia in order to contribute along with us with challenges the industry is to face.
- The EXPOMIN Congress brings together the public and private sectors of the industry in this version, in particular, there will be concur with the new government authorities. Therefore, do you think that this version of EXPOMIN is a milestone in the direction of the mining policy of the new Government?
The mining industry is an industry that operates, invests, plans, projects with a long-term horizon and, therefore, exceeds a short term period of any particular government. We are interested in working with policies for the sector that are permanent, that have a long-sighted and we believe that, for this reason, the subjects that we have included in the Congress have a long termed perspective and not of any specific period.
I think that in recent times, Chile has slightly lost its balance of what mining investment means for the future development of the industry, so it´s necessary to emphasize the appeal of Chile historically in terms of mining investment and to renew that notion which is extremely important.
Here there are certain aspects to improve such as the way in which new project permitting processes and long-term public policies that enable promoting the sector. I think that in that light, EXPOMIN can indeed be a milestone and should be an important one when a new government starts to justly discuss long-term perspectives, what are the public policies that enable its placement allow to put the center of activity, so that mining continues to contribute to the development of Chile and the well-being of all Chileans as it has done historically.
The EXPOMIN 2018 International Congress will take place at the EspacioRiesco Convention Center from 23rd to 27th April next year and will include 13 seminars, workshops and round table sessions, where the most relevant industry concerns will be discussed, including Innovation , Technology, Competitiveness, Sustainability (Environment, Community), Gender, Productive Efficiency, Energy, Human Resources, and Investment and Business.