Can you explain Consejo Minero’s strategic objectives and priorities for 2022?

Consejo Minero’s focus for 2022 is on public policy discussions related to Constitutional reform and mining royalties. The organization is an industry association representing over 90% of the country’s mining production in Chile, both state-owned and private. The Constitutional reform includes a chapter on mining, and Consejo Minero aims to participate in discussions related to this topic. The organization is also part of the ‘Compromiso Minero’ initiative that brings together over 100 institutions related to the mining industry, including big and small companies, mining providers, regional industry associations, and academic institutions.

How does Consejo Minero collaborate with the new government?

Consejo Minero delivers valuable information about the performance of mining companies to the authorities. The current government has shown interest in protecting small miners, and Consejo Minero can help with safety standards. Additionally, the previous government approved the ‘Minería 2050’ initiative, which needs to be implemented this year and includes over 400 measures related to emissions reduction, water usage, and energy efficiency. With regards to the new developments, Consejo Minero will collaborate with the public sector and Congress on issues such as the new Constitution, which will affect the mining industry, and laws on water resources.

What is Consejo Minero’s view on the consequences that Chilean mining could face due to constitutional changes?

Consejo Minero believes that the current Constitutional reforms approved up to now do not go against the development of mining activity. The organization recognizes that mineral resources belong to the state, which is already part of the current Constitution. Other measures approved related to sustainability and environmental protection are also considered reasonable. However, proposals that would negatively affect the industry, such as general bans on mining activities in certain territories, nationalization of certain mining activities, and a confiscatory royalty of 25% of sales, have been rejected by the Constitutional Convention. Consejo Minero is awaiting resolution on other industry-related matters, such as the use of water and community relations and rights.

What can the industry do to overcome a skills shortage?

Consejo Minero has been working on connecting the mining industry with education bodies through the ‘Consejo de Competencias Mineras’ initiative, in alliance with Fundación Chile’s ‘Eleva’ program, for more than a decade. The technical schools generally have little knowledge about the profiles and skills required in the industry, and Consejo Minero has been working with the Ministry of Education and Universities to address this gap.

How is Chile’s mining sector working to strengthen regional employment and create wealth that stays in-country?

Consejo Minero believes that 90% of all monetary flows in the mining industry stay in Chile via investment, taxes, royalties, and salaries. For many years, the organization has promoted that this wealth should stay in the mining regions. While it is something that Consejo Minero cannot control, the organization sees a historic debt with the mining regions, and the new Constitution is an opportunity to address this issue.

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