Chile and Peru agree to work for a responsible production of copper

More than 200 people followed the Seminar “The Copper Mark: collaboration for a responsible copper in the Andean Region” live and direct, organized by the Alta Ley Corporation, Cesco, and The Copper Mark, which had the participation of important actors from the Chilean and Peruvian mining ecosystem.

During the meeting the importance of responsible copper production was addressed, the work that is being developed regarding this issue in Chile and Peru. The Copper Mark was presented, an initiative of the International Copper Association (ICA), which seeks to provide an assurance system in responsible production.

Emphasize the importance of starting to work in an aligned and effective manner on responsible copper production, in the regional mining ecosystem,. was the main objective of the seminar “The Copper Mark: collaboration for a responsible copper in the Andean Region”, organized by the Alta Ley Corporation, Cesco, and The Copper Mark, which was held last Tuesday, August 25.

The meeting, which was led by Cesco’s executive director, Alejandra Wood, had the participation of important actors from the Chilean and Peruvian mining ecosystem, who highlighted the contribution of having a certification system for responsible copper production, such as the delivered by The Copper Mark, for the development of the industry over the next few years.

Sonami’s president, Diego Hernández, pointed out that they are aware that having traceability systems is what mining is required to do and that the industry is working hard to have a responsible copper production. In this sense, maintained that “The Copper Mark gives us a structure that is very important for the sector”.

Along the same lines, Pablo de la Flor, Executive Director of the National Society of Mining, Oil, and Energy of Peru, pointed out that one of the great virtues of this initiative is the transparency and simplicity of the process. “It is a certification scheme that recognizes other existing evaluation schemes and where best practices are shared, which makes it even more attractive”.

For his part, Fernando Lucchini, Executive President of the Alta Ley Corporation, highlighted the collaboration that is taking place in the Andean Region to generate responsible copper. He also emphasized the importance of understanding how green mining challenges intersect with digitalization issues.

Next, Hillary Amster, Director of Impact and Compliance at The Copper Mark, delved into the objectives of The Copper Mark program, its criteria and the steps that companies must take to achieve this certification, among which are the signing of a letter commitment, a self-evaluation and an independent evaluation concerning the criteria established by the institution. After these three steps, the company could already incorporate the brand The Copper Mark. If there are gaps in the independent evaluation, they are given 24 months to solve them, and finally, there is a reevaluation process every 3 years and / or when there are operational changes or significant incidents.

Amster highlighted that The Copper Mark is a contribution of the mining sector to the United Nations SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals). “With The Copper Mark, we can improve the lives of our colleagues and neighbors, strengthen the communities in which we are embedded and increase the value we deliver to our customers and their consumers”.

Then Víctor Pérez, Director of Green Mining at the Alta Ley Corporation, pointed out that we are in a challenging context, but that it opens up several opportunities that we had not seen before. “The pandemic gave us concrete challenges for the industry that point to the development of a 4.0, safe and green mining. Our focus should be on the copper production value chain and generate integrated management to achieve traceability that guarantees compliance with market requirements”, he explained.

He stated that, at present, a majority segment of the sectors that demand copper, requires certifications or traceability of the supplies  they consume. “The Copper Mark covers a series of aspects that today are at the core of the mining risk. The London Metal Exchange aims to require a series of responsible sourcing standards. There is a clock running where we must report and comply ”, he assured.

Julia Torreblanca, VP of Corporate Affairs at Cerro Verde, a Peruvian mining company that is on the verge of incorporating The Copper Mark into its operations, referred to the work they have had to carry out to join the responsible copper certification and learnings from this process. Among them, she highlighted the importance of appreciating the copper brand as a process, leveraging the self-assessment to understand gaps, starting working with a The Copper Mark auditor early on to understand how it works and what they will be required to provide in the process and work with industry associations/guilds to better understand how other companies are tackling problems. “I invite you to join the implementation of The Copper Mark, have fun in the process and take advantage of it to detect opportunities for continuous improvement for operations”, she said.

Finally, Robert Mayne-Nicolls, VP of Enami, spoke about the work carried out by the institution in recent years and the contribution they have made to formalize small and medium-sized mining. “We believe that The Copper Mark is one of the best tools to end informal mining and avoid the environmental damage that is generated to recover minerals inappropriately.”