The small country of Chile is a mining player of international importance. In 2017, over 200,000 workers employed in the sector generated sales of over CHF 30 billion. In addition to copper, where Chile is the clear leader with almost 30% of global production, it also mines lithium, molybdenum, gold, silver, lead, zinc and iron. After a few difficult years with low commodity prices, cautious investors and structural adjustments, the mood in the industry has improved significantly over the past year – also because global trends such as electric vehicles are having a positive impact on the investment climate.
Investments of 60 billion Swiss francs planned
In order to remain competitive, the companies are focusing on productivity gains, but above all on sustainability. Higher commodity prices are allowing the sector to promote its own research and development projects and purchase solutions abroad. Around 60 billion Swiss francs of investments are planned.
Sustainable production ensures greater competitiveness for global customers
Innovations in the cleantech industry in areas such as energy, water, waste, mobility and automation not only reduce environmental impact, but also production costs for mine operators, where the demand for supplies is enormous. At the same time, commodity companies are introducing more sustainable production to meet the growing demands of their customers, such as Nestlé and Apple, who want to offer products that are as climate-friendly as possible. BMW signed a contract with Chilean global market leader CODELCO in 2018, which commits the company to responsible mining of the copper supplied to the German carmaker. Copper promoter Antofagasta Minerals signed a contract in July 2018 to supply 550 gigawatt hours of green electricity annually, thereby creating Chile’s first 100% renewable energy mine.
Success factors for Swiss cleantech providers
Under such extremely challenging conditions conditions for man, machine and environment, the sector can hardly afford to accept downtime due to inferior machinery and processes or technological experimentation. Suppliers and service providers are therefore being sought out that have reliable and innovative solutions to help guide the Chilean mining sector into the future, with the involvement of local partners.
In addition to experiences in their domestic market, foreign suppliers must be able to demonstrate a profound understanding of the dimensions and challenges of a Chilean mine.
Learn more about your opportunities and the right approach to the Chilean mining sector at our lunch event on March 29 or 29 (date to be confirmed shortly):