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The shared mobilizing vision, beyond the necessary rules of the game

When we started the National Alta Ley Mining Program in 2015, we had a clear purpose: to accelerate the transformation of Chile from a mineral producing country to one that exported mining. For this, we had to articulate actors from the public and private world, cross political and ideological barriers and raise a shared vision of what the country needed to maintain the competitiveness of this productive sector, as well as turning it into a lever of development for our country.

The initial milestone was the publication of the first version of the Mining Technology Roadmap in 2016, in which a clear and consensual Roadmap was created to face the most important challenges of copper mining, in order to maintain our leading position globally, and develop technology, entrepreneurship, innovation and collaboration that make us more competitive not only in mining, but in all the things we learn and solve, and the products we generate in this way.

Today, while we observe how the new generations strongly demand immediate actions to reduce the environmental impact of all economic activities, there is no doubts that this path is the right one to take, and that it must be accelerated and deepened. And that is exactly what we are looking for with the Roadmap 2.0, a work of more than two years that we are ready to make available to the industry. This new version is a living document, which must evolve along with the new challenges we face as a society and as an industrial sector. Thus, while the original Roadmap indicated that the main challenge for Chile was the fact that we have the most expensive electricity in the continent and in all of the mining countries, today renewable generation opens up a huge space of innovation, to lower the costs of this key input for the activity, and also to populate of R + D + i the interface between mining and solar, wind or geothermal energy. That is why the Roadmap 2019, developed participatively with all the actors in the ecosystem, is strongly indicating the opportunity that low-emission mining means, and green mining in general if we add other dimensions of sustainability where Chile is already a recognized world leader.

As Alta Ley, we have the conviction that the future of mining is not played between industrial investment and the environment, or between productivity and sustainability. All these dimensions are not exclusive nor contradictory. In modern mining, these are two sides of the same coin, as the Chilean copper industry has stated so many times. Chilean mining as a whole, with its public and private actors, industrial and academic, business, entrepreneurs and citizens, has made a definitive commitment to combine sustainability, knowledge, technology and innovation together with investment, growth and productivity, which comes together in the Roadmap and in the projects that it protects and promotes. And it cannot be otherwise: in the era of “purpose” as the key to the formulation of business strategies, the technological and industrial revolution we are experiencing puts us in a surprisingly advantageous situation to combine mining progress with a larger purpose, to be a lever to move Chile from the natural resources economy to the knowledge economy.

Additionally, along the way, the mining sector once again experienced that associativity and collaborative work are key elements to achieve more prosperous mining for miners and for the country; that, in order to truly lead this industry from a small country that is so far away from the rest of the world, large and mobilizing visions must be agreed beyond the necessary healthy rules of the game. That is part of the “purpose” of a virtuous, inclusive and sustainable mining. At a time when Chile calls for a country agreement, in which we are all represented and can grow and develop, the concept of collaborative work and the construction of generous visions gains even more strength and meaning. Mining can show that it has reflected, has advanced and must continue betting on that path, because that way it contributes to more and better mining, and to a better Chile.

Mauro Valdés
Executive President Alta Ley Corporation