Press Release

"We believe that mining must be at the service of the new social and environmental challenges we face"

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, November 15, 2022

By Copper 2022

This is a machine translation of the original press release issued in Spanish

This Monday the inauguration of the Copper 2022 International Conference was held, which was attended by the Minister of Mining, Marcela Hernando; the senator of the Republic, Francisco Chahuán; the president of the Conference and President of Antofagasta Plc, Iván Arriagada, the president of the Institute of Mining Engineers, IIMCh; Sergio Demetrio and the Managing Director of Copper 2022, Fernando Silva.

On the occasion, Minister Hernando said that the International Copper Conference 2022 is an excellent opportunity to share with other copper-producing countries our vision of sustainable mining, which plays a key role in confronting the global climate crisis, considering its use in electromobility, low emission energies and energy storage. As a government, we are committed to promoting our role as leaders of the just socio-ecological transition, which advances towards sustainable mining, in harmony with the communities and territories where it is inserted.

"We believe that mining activity must be at the service of the new social and environmental challenges that we face as a society. That is why we value meeting instances around the development of the mining industry and, especially, on issues related to copper," he said. .

Meanwhile, Senator Francisco Chahuán, president of the Commission for Future Challenges, science, technology and innovation, said that there is no doubt that the latent reality is that there are various questions regarding the future, however, the unquestionable thing is that uncertainty came to stay, to the point of becoming a permanent feature of contemporary society, and what is evident is that the technological revolution is advancing faster and faster, making obsolete even the novelty of just a while ago.

"In the same sense, new technologies and innovations at the service of a better ecosystem have promoted the strong idea of "green mining", a line of action that seeks from mining regulations to significantly improve mining efficiency and reduce environmental impact. In In general, mining techniques become much more sensitive to the environment when efficiency is improved because less waste is produced, however, even greater and significant improvements must be made, as we have proposed from the Senate Challenges of the Future committee, through of the Green Mining work table, since we have great potential worldwide, he said.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Copper 2022 and CEO of Antofagasta Plc, Iván Arriagada said that Chile is not only the largest copper producer in the world, but also the country with the largest known reserves of this mineral. For this reason, as a country we have the opportunity and also the responsibility to contribute to facing the greatest environmental emergency that the planet has experienced.

"However, many today wonder and have questioned the ability of the global mining industry to produce the amount of copper and other metals that humanity urgently needs. And that we can do it in conditions that do not become an obstacle for the massification of low-emission technologies," he said.

Arriagada added that the urgency and responsibility of increasing the production of copper and other metals cannot be seen as an excuse to carry out mining at any cost. Mining today is not the same as it was a decade ago, and we must show how it has evolved and will continue to evolve in the coming years.

He added that there are several conditions to be able to mine. "The first is that there are basic consensus on our role and legitimacy; the second condition, which I believe is essential for the development of the sector, is the Attraction of Talent; the third condition is the permanent evolution towards more advanced standards; the fourth is the openness to Innovation and Creativity; the fifth condition is to have effective and efficient States", stressed Arriagada.

In his speech, the president of the Institute of Mining Engineers of Chile, IIMCh, Sergio Demetrio said that copper is a resilient and noble element, so noble, that it comes out of one use, but soon achieves another application, due to the technological advances of the human being and professionals like those of us who are here, who open it to new uses and new windows that push the frontier of knowledge in favor of a greater well-being for humanity", such as the increasingly necessary applications in public health.

"We are aware that copper is today an essential element to face global warming and better adapt to the change in nature and society,... it allows us to enter with the advantage of an element that is noble, cheap and relatively abundant , characteristics that reinforce its use in the global energy revolution, focused mainly on direct and daily energy from the sun and its derivatives, and for this, more and more copper is required, much more copper," Demetrio asserted.

Then, Fernando Silva, pointed out that in this COPPER 2022 we have opened the frontiers of knowledge, therefore copper is no longer just a process, but we have expanded it towards geology, mining, logistics and innovation, communities, circular economy. Copper plays a fundamental role in electromobility and in future human development, in order to have a healthier, less polluted world, where we can leave the new generations a better place to live.

"This year we have considered it essential to work on the great challenges that society gives us regarding the future use of Copper, the world is requiring copper increasingly and the industry and the authorities must deliver it to them since otherwise we will stop the future development of society. Technological innovation in copper mining has always been fundamental and the first autonomous equipment in operation and registered in the mining industry."

On the occasion, Igor Wilkomirsky was highlighted for his professional career, which includes Compañía Siderúrgica Huachipato, the New Brunswick Research Council of Canada, the Centro de Investigaciones Minero Metalúrgicas - CIMM, in addition to the execution of more than 40 technical assistance and specialized consulting projects. engineering and mining companies for projects in Chile, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Indonesia and Russia, among others.

Regarding this recognition, Wilkomirsky said that: "in a personal capacity it is a great honor for me, it is to say a culmination of many decades in an area in which its moment, almost by accident, in pyrometallurgy. I am so grateful to the Institute of Mining Engineers of Chile, like the other institutions, and that they highlight me by putting my name to this pyrometallurgy symposium. All the presentations, more than 80, are a good sample of this area, which covers both the operation and the theory, new developments, optimization and some ideas that may crystallize in the future," he said.

It should be noted that during the day there were technical talks, plenary sessions, and round tables focused on industry issues from electrometallurgy to the future of mining. Each of them with renowned exhibitors in the mining sector at a national and international level.

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