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Monday, August 5, 2019

APEC Chile 2019 Mining Week starts with visit to San José de Copiapó Mine

Delegates from 13 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum economies participated in a mining safety seminar in the morning and toured the San José mine in the afternoon.

Copiapó, August 5, 2019. Mining safety was the main focus of the first day of APEC Chile 2019 Mining Week. Led by Chilean Mining Minister Baldo Prokurica, a group of delegates from 13 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum economies toured the San José de Copiapó Mine. 

At the kick-off event for the activities, which will run through August 8, the minister stated that, “Monday was a great day for Chile and Atacama as the whole world turned its attention to mining, which represents 75% of global trade and various activities around the world.”

Minister Prokurica noted that, “Activities are being undertaken with a focus on safety, an element essential to all economic activity. Furthermore, this is the anniversary of the accident that trapped 33 miners in the San José Mine. That is why we wanted to visit this site, so that the delegates can learn about what happened, how it happened,  the efforts by President Sebastián Piñera’s first administration as well as the result. As I have always said, God had a hand in saving those 33 people.”

Atacama Regional Governor Patricio Urquieta thanked the Mining Minister for including the area in the APEC meetings, noting that Copiapó’s identity is tied to mining. “We want to conduct this activity in the best possible way so that it drives development that can be passed down to future generations. We believe that, if we do things right, we will have more tools to reach the goal we worked with President Piñera to set for ourselves: achieving development within the next decade.”

Uriquieta noted that the event is an opportunity to learn about everything that Atacama has to offer, the work that its people do and how mining projects are being  conducted.

Copper prices fall

The minister also commented on the recent drop in the price of copper, which hit its lowest point since June 16, 2017. “The price dropped again today to US$2.52 and Chile loses US$60 million for each penny that the price falls. We are concerned. I would like to reiterate President Piñera’s call to US and Chinese leadership to build bridges in order to identify a good solution to this conflict.”

Prokurica added, “We believe that the November APEC meeting will be an opportunity to bring these two economies together. The trade war means losses for everyone, not just those of us who export commodities. It also impacts US and Chinese businesses, which have had to take monetary steps. Any situation other than free trade based on supply and demand causes us tremendous harm.”

 Source: Mining Ministry.

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