Presentation of the book “Chile has a future from its territories: Green mining to face the climate emergency”

To discuss the feasibility, best practices and contributions to the industry that the development of green mining can have in our country, this Friday the representatives of the public and private world delivered the book “Chile has a future from its territories: Green mining to address the climate emergency” to the general public, reported the Encuentros del Futuro Foundation.

Said document saw the participation of more than 150 key mining players in Chile, who for one year, under the auspices of the Encuentros del Futuro Foundation, the Congress of the Future and the Challenges of the Future Commission, have prepared this document which contains a comprehensive diagnosis, proposals and goals to build a green mining for Chile, which seeks to improve mining efficiency and reduce environmental impact.

The stability of the present and of the future will depend on how humanity deals with climate change, where solutions such as the energy transition and electromobility will be essential to contain the damage this will generate in the world. To achieve this, the world will need critical minerals such as copper and lithium, of which Chile is a major player. However, it is imperative that the extraction of these elements meet social, environmental and governance requirements.

“The digital age requires mineral and lithium resources, which is why Chile has a strategic role for the future. But there is a problem, Chileans rightly see mining as a threat. We need to recover the legitimacy of Chilean mining and that Chilean men and women understand that mining can save the planet from the climate crisis and help the future of humanity, but for this we need extraction that is ecological , which desalinates water, uses renewable energy resources, treats tailings, has solar functions and does recycling. We need green mining for the future,” assured the executive vice president of the Encuentros del Futuro Foundation, Guido Girardi.

It is in this scenario that experts from the academic and professional world linked to the mining ecosystem have been working since 2020 in virtual forums to generate a document covering 5 thematic axes: Decarbonisation, access to markets and technological challenges; Water resources and adaptation to climate change; Biodiversity for sustainable mining operations; Processing of concentrates, secondary mining, recycling and environmental responsibility and finally financing of strategic projects and fostering innovation.

“A large group was formed organized into five working sub-committees and each had one person at the helm. A working methodology was created, in which a shared vision was made, the type of agreements that would be generated was defined and some objectives were set. This methodology has allowed each of the subgroups to provide a specific proposal and finally to compose a complete general proposal, “explained the director of the U. de Concepción in Santiago and coordinator of the subcommittee for the financing of strategic projects and the promotion of the innovation. , Marcela Angulo .

There are currently 757 tailings in Chile, 15% active, 62% inactive, 23% abandoned and 1% under construction. Although the mining industry uses 4% of Chile’s mainland water used in the country, it is responsible for more than 55% of the usage in the Antofagasta region. Similarly, the copper mining industry in Chile is responsible for 15% of the country’s scope 1 and 2 emissions.

“From the thematic tables of the Challenges of the Future commission, we have tried to root public policy in a Green Mining project that allows us to incorporate the circular economy, a tailings register, so that by 2030 we start producing copper, the our main export and soul of the country – in a green, sustainable, sustainable way. The invitation is to continue working, from the private world, with the Academy, incorporating environmentalists and understanding that we can build a green extraction for the Chile”, expressed the president of the Commission for the challenges of the future, Francisco Chahuán.

Chile is the first copper producer in the world, so it has the opportunity to make a real change and be a promoter of green mining, lower emissions, toxic waste and use green hydrogen bonded renewable energy, allowing for protection and regeneration of biodiversity.

The recently published book underlines that the challenge for Chile “is to supply copper, lithium and other minerals, reducing their emissions, using less continental water, managing their residues and wastes and caring for biodiversity in the ecosystems in which it operates, establishing appreciation and mutual benefit with neighboring communities and society, through mining activities that generate quality jobs and promote the development of production chains, including high-value niches”.

Green Mining Roundtable Coordinator (former CESCO Executive Director), Alejandra Wood, noted that “there is considerable industry consensus on what Chile needs to position itself as a responsible copper supplier. The interesting aspect is the participation of representatives of the academic world, public and private, which allows us to unite visions and take advantage of this unique opportunity for the country”.

That is why panels were held on this occasion. The first entitled “Green Mining: a shared vision for the sustainable development of Chile and its contribution to the fight against climate change”, with the participation of Yovana Ahumada, president of the Mining Commission of the Chamber of Deputies; Maisa Rojas, Minister of the Environment; Máximo Pacheco, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Codelco; Eduardo Bitrán, president of the Innovation Club; Ricardo Díaz, regional governor of Antofagasta; Carlos Saavedra, rector of the U. de Concepción and Carola Merino, of Women in Mining.

The second, “Strategies for the institutional feasibility of green mining in Chile”, was composed by Loreto Carvajal, President of the Senate Mining and Energy Commission; Mario Marcel, Minister of Finance; Willy Kracht, Undersecretary of Mines; José Miguel Benavente, Executive Vice President of CORFO; Jorge Riesco, President of SONAMI; Pamela Chávez, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering of UAH and Emilio Rodríguez, Rector of U. de Tarapacá and Executive Vice President of the Council of Rectors of CRUCH.

The commissions organized by the Congreso Futuro seek to address future problems, but which must be analyzed and determined in the present. There are six working groups which, divided into subcommittees, bring together more than 200 people, representatives of all the universities in the country, the Council of Rectors, private companies, government institutions, academics and politicians from all sectors of the country. The results and recommendations obtained by the commissions try to be material for the generation of public policies that guarantee the well-being of citizens and of the country.

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