Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica inaugurated the largest mining fair in Latin America, EXPOMIN 2020, which is being broadcast using streaming technology, as this physical meeting has been converted into a virtual version due to the pandemic.
Minister Baldo Prokurica highlighted the hard work by FISA, who organized the EXPOMIN fair and adapted the event to the pandemic’s restrictions, with the aim of "connecting people within the mining sector and generating business. Particularly to present important issues for the mining sector, such as digitalization and automation, cyber-security, human capital, women participating in mining, renewable energy, the challenges caused by the coronavirus in the industry, and other important issues.”
He highlighted that the mining industry has continued to operate during the most difficult months of this year, and praised companies and their employees "for their safety culture and for promptly introducing the measures required to protect the health and life of employees.” This led to a 1.7% mining activity index (IMACEC) between January and September 2020, while the non-mining IMACEC fell by 8.7% during the same period.
Therefore, the Minister expressed his confidence in "the mining industry’s prominent role after the pandemic. We are convinced that mining will be indispensable to fulfilling many of the commitments that the Government of President Sebastián Piñera adopted to deal with the pandemic, and that otherwise could not have been financed.”
He stated that mining projects that comply with regulations need to move ahead "in order to grow the mining industry and provide Chilean families with the hope of finding employment during this stage, which will be extraordinarily hard and complex."
He also mentioned that the future prospects for copper demand are positive, especially in the areas of electro-mobility and renewable energy.
Estimates by the consulting firm CRU indicate that copper consumption by the electric vehicle and charging infrastructure industries is expected to reach 3 million tons by 2030, which represents 11.5% of total consumption.
The same report indicates that the demand for copper for renewable energies such as solar photovoltaic and wind power would reach 1.3 million tons over the same period.
The Minister also said that he was "very pleased that the price of copper has exceeded US$3 per pound. This is certainly a relief for the Treasury as it will mean increased income to help families who are suffering due to the pandemic.”
The inauguration ceremony was also attended by Francisco Sotomayor, Manager of EXPOMIN, Francis Fannon, United States Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, and Tamara Leves, President of Women in Mining Chile (WIM Chile).
The EXPOMIN International Congress will have an extensive program of 13 seminars, with over 70 prominent panelists from government, industry and technology companies from 15 countries.
It will also provide opportunities for exhibitors and visitors to network, and a Marketplace with rapid and advanced search filters that are easily navigated, so that companies can exhibit products and services.