Within the framework of Cesco Week 2022, the Center for Copper and Mining Studies will hold the IV Mining and Sustainability Seminar on March 31st. With the support of GIZ, a complete study will be presented on strategic socio-technological niches that will allow the sustainability of the mining sector in the Andean region to be promoted.

 Technological and social change is rapidly transforming the economy, the environment and society worldwide. This has prompted different organizations to come together to study how to install this change successfully.

In this context, and within the framework of the New Tech New Deal project, and the study “Technological revolution in large-scale mining in the Andean Region: Policies and collaborative efforts for its full deployment” carried out by Cesco with the support of the Deutsche Gelleschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), various expert organizations were convened to analyze how to achieve this change in the mining sector, and make it more sustainable and competitive.

This is how on March 31st, the IV Seminar on Mining and Sustainability “Critical challenges for sustainable mining” will be held at the Intercontinental Hotel, where the results of this research will be presented led by Cesco director, academic and partner of Karungen, Osvaldo Urzúa.

“Just like in other industries, the challenge facing mining is multidimensional, it implies a paradigm shift,” says Urzúa. “This transition not only refers to a technological change, it also involves embracing changes in the ways of organizing production, the economy, trade and the ways of relating to society and nature to move towards sustainable mining.”

This document identified some systemic elements to keep in mind the design and the implementation of public policies and collective efforts to take advantage of the opportunities and address the challenges associated with adopting new technologies, as well as some high-value socio-technological niches to promote sustainable mining in the region, in which the following stand out: Investments in shared water infrastructure; nature-based solutions; electromobility for emission-free mining; the circular economy in primary mining; and compensations and promotion in the carbon market.

The expert organizations that participated in this work include the SMI-International Center of Excellence, Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the Capital Biodiversity Corporation, the Mario Molina Center, the Circular Economy Technology Center (CircularTec), and EnergyLab.

Osvaldo Urzúa adds that “this document is a first approach to face challenges such as reducing emissions that cause global warming, addressing the ecological and water crisis, the use of clean energy and other solutions that contribute to reducing inequity and social discontent. Technological change can offer tools that help address these challenges from mining, but it is not enough, adequate public policies and collective impact efforts are needed.”

The Cesco director also explains that although the 5 selected niches are not an exhaustive list of all the critical areas or niches associated with mining, and each one has particularities and different scopes, it is considered that their joint analysis allows for a vision of the key challenges in the transition that mining must face and identify a first set of innovative solutions of a different nature.

About the seminar

The IV Seminar on Mining and Sustainability “Critical challenges for sustainable mining” will be held in a hybrid format at the Intercontinental Hotel, on March 31st from 08:30 (CL).

At the meeting, representatives of the different institutions that participated in the study promoted by Cesco, will present the progress of the identified niches. Subsequently, a conversation panel will be held with the participation of José Pablo Domínguez, General Manager of ME Elecmetal Sud América; Laura Mottola, Managing Director of the Flow Partners office in Chile, and Director of Digital Transformation at BBA; and Ignacio Pérez, Hydrogen Manager – Latam of AngloAmerican.