Economic development based on the production of raw materials or production complexity: A wrong dilemma

The recent discussion that has taken place in the press allows us to revisit a recurring theme of great importance for the development policies of our country.

Indeed, in these exchanges, there is the feeling that a productive matrix based on natural resources is a path that does not lead to development, and that only industrialization, adding value, would be the appropriate path for the full development of our country.

This statement contains a partial vision, and although it shows part of the phenomenon, it hides the crucial role that, as a development platform, production from natural resources with which our country is endowed must play.

Cesco is convinced that the development of mining is the main development platform to generate greater complexity in our economy as a whole, based on an activity that, like mining, positions us competitively at an international level.

From it, an activity of supply of national goods and services is generated, and a base is provided to incorporate Chile in the development of knowledge, technologies, innovation, and entrepreneurship, everything that generates a growing value chain for the benefit of the country.

The path is not necessarily to add value in all “forward” developments in mining production, but mainly in technological developments that can be developed “backward”, that is, in the chain of suppliers of goods and services, through starting from the challenges that, as the main copper and lithium producer in the world, are faced in mining logistics and production.

In this logic, initiatives such as the Corporación Alta Ley, a public-private initiative, have been established, which coordinates transversal efforts of the main players in the industry: its suppliers, the Academy, the public sector, and innovation and development centers, to join forces in generate innovations, technology transfers, and collaborative work.

There is still a way to go to make mining become the main development platform, incorporating greater complexity into the economic system of our country, contributing in a relevant way to greater wealth creation, expansion of opportunities, and reduction of economic inequality.

The relevance of copper and lithium in a green and sustainable economy opens a new window of opportunity. The need for these development materials allows us to boost not only the mining industry but also allows us to energize the entire ecosystem related to it. To engage in a discussion that considers the wrong choice is to turn our backs on this historic opportunity.

Cesco is committed to promoting and participating in discussions and meeting spaces that lead to making decisions that virtuously enhance the role of mining in the country’s development.