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BHP package to boost the regional economy in Antofagasta

BHP has proposed a package of short and medium-term measures to boost the regional economy through support for local suppliers, local job creation, efforts to foster innovation and entrepreneurship and the strengthening of the region’s leadership in the copper mining industry.

The announcement, made in the Regional Government Office, includes ideas that arose in dialogue with different regional players from spheres that include the government, municipalities, Congress and business as well as citizens.

The President of Minera Escondida/BHP, Mauro Neves, indicated that “they have all given us valuable information for identifying areas for improvement in the company’s role and opportunities for the creation of shared value. The undertaking of Minera Escondida/BHP is to continue contributing to the sustainable development of our city, the region and the country as a whole.”

The measures are as follows:

  • A reduction in payment times to between 14 and 28 days for small and mid-sized suppliers that have their headquarters in the region and to between 30 and 44 days for large companies with their headquarters in the region.
  • Local job creation through the new BHP projects in the region, with the aim of sourcing 40% of workers for these projects locally.
  • Strengthening of company’s Procurement/Supply area in Antofagasta so as to improve the quality of attention to suppliers, accompanied by the opening of an area of attention in Minera Escondida’s corporate building.
  • Creation of a centre of support for innovative entrepreneurship in Minera Escondida’s corporate building in Antofagasta so innovative local companies can participate in the mining industry’s process of transformation as well as in other economic activities.
  • An increase in the proportion of participants in BHP’s Graduate Program who are drawn from regional universities, with a target of 20%. A plan will, in addition, be launched to strengthen the skills of professionals from these universities to equip them to work in the large-scale mining industry.
  • Organisation of an international seminar to address issues related to the mining industry of the future and its challenges in an open and informed dialogue with the Antofagasta community in the last quarter of 2018.

The Governor of the Antofagasta Region, Marco Antonio Díaz, highlighted the importance of this series of measures proposed by BHP and indicated that “this is a good sign of BHP’s commitment to the Antofagasta Region. These initiatives point in the right direction since they not only seek to address local job creation but also propose important incentives for local suppliers and foster opportunities for the future professionals of our universities. In this sense, its President, Mauro Neves, has played a central role in promoting and leading a process within BHP in which our regional voices have been heard.”

The measures will be implemented immediately so that those which are short-term will have an early positive impact while the medium-term ones will produce results gradually.