Investing In Latam Mining Cumbre

What is the biggest positive change for the mining sector to be introduced by the new Chilean government in the upcoming year?

President Pinera's government is committed to work so the country resumes the path to economic growth and job creation. To attain that, developing investment plays a fundamental role, more so in the mining sector.

According to data from the Ministry of Mining's Sustainable Development Division, there are 123 projects with approved Environmental Qualification Resolutions (EQR), for an amount of US$ 33.984 million, which would generate 66.906 jobs in their construction phase and 36.607 at the time of their operation.

From these numbers, the Antofagasta and Atacama regions -both most important Chilean mining zones- concentrate 80 EQR-approved mining projects, for a total of US$ 24.651 million, which would generate 52.805 jobs during construction and 29.660 once operational.

On the other hand, we are actively working as a Ministry with diverse mining actors to determine which are the main stumbling blocks mining projects need to overcome and, in this way, reduce the number of permits that are needed to execute them, of course always respecting the current environmental regulation.

We are also focused in supporting two sectors that play an important socioeconomic role in 44 localities and five regions of Chile, as it is the case of small and medium size mining, which exported around US$ 1.684 million during 2017, an amount equivalent to that of the cellulose, forestry-furniture or wine industries.

In this context, we are working with different small mining actors to acknowledge their challenges and to tackle them with special legislation that we will create for that sector, which will consider safety issues, project review, closing plans and training, as stated in our government plan.

Chile stands out for its institutional, political and economic stability. Furthermore, according to the latest Fraser Institute report, we are an attractive destination for mining investment, placing eighth globally and ranking first in Latin America. Also, it is necessary to point out that one of the objectives of President's government plan is to establish the mining sector as an engine for economic reactivation and job creation. In the economic plane, although these last couple of years have been weak, Chile continued to grow, even if it was at a lower rate than before.

What are the main advantages of investing in Chile, and what are the biggest incentives offered to investors by the Chilean government?

The biggest incentive to attract investors is the institutional fortitude that our country offers. We are a pro investment and job creation government, that is why as a Ministry we are actively participating of the Sustainable Projects Management Office (GPS in Spanish), which is led by the Ministry of Economics.

Similarly, we created the Sustainable Development Division (DDS) with the objective to accompany big, middle and small mining investors to complete easily and quickly the required procedures. This effort is a solution to the excessive number of permits that have become real “speed-bumps” for investment during the last years.

Another incentive is that we have a vast geological potential available for exploration and development., because we do not get anything just by having the biggest copper, lithium or other reserves in the world if we do not exploit them to improve our healthcare system, the education sector, mass transit or national infrastructure to benefit Chileans. Before this scenario I can augur that Chile, thanks to the almighty was, is and will be a mining country for a long time.

What are the top three reasons for you to attend a 2018 edition of the Mining Cumbre event?

This event is a concrete opportunity to generate dialogue between companies, the Government, investors and other stakeholders in order to understand which are the perspectives and challenges that the mining sector faces during the following years in all Latin American countries.

Likewise, this type of instances provides the possibility of having together many different actors and investors, turning this gathering into an opportunity to network and to explore alliances and future business opportunities. Together with that, all attendees can know the different points of view and the work needed to advance into a more sustainable and socially inclusive mining sector. Today, those in mining are conscious that one of the tasks in which we should move forward is precisely this point, and it is one of the challenges that President Sebastian Piñera entrusted to this Ministry.

What are the most exciting opportunities in the Chilean mining sector in the next few years?

Historically, Chile has a great mining potential. Along with it, our countries geological characteristics impose to us the challenge to continuously search for new technologies to raise our ore grade and to raise productivity levels, maintaining production costs.

In this line, Chile has the necessity to move forward on innovation and technological breakthroughs, so this path must be built together by all mining stakeholders. In the same way, I want to highlight that our country enjoys having advanced human capital. Today we have professional technical lyceums where mining careers are taught and where we prepare students both in technical abilities and soft skills.

This is precisely one of the focuses in which we are working, specifically in those regions with high mining presence and activity, looking to keep this students in those regions in which they live, and that companies hire trained local workforces capable of facing the industries challenges.

Minister Hon. Baldo Prokurica will be speaking at Mining Cumbre from 10-11 July in Santiago, Chile. To hear from him and other mining ministers from Peru, Bolivia, South Africa and more, register now.