26 October 2022
Escondida and Spence participated in one of the first working sessions to advance "Towards a Mining Strategy in Antofagasta", an initiative promoted by the Regional Government and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in the area.
The OECD will support the Government of Antofagasta in the development of a mining strategy for the region, with a focus on the transition towards environmentally sustainable mining that involves businesses and local communities in the value chain and improves the well-being of the population.
James Whittaker, Escondida Asset President, was part of a panel discussion that brought together the main mining companies operating in the territory, who were invited to share their experiences, lessons learned, opportunities and challenges for the industry in the coming decades.
"At BHP we believe that the greatest challenge we have as an industry is to make sustainable mining, creating social value for the communities, the economy and the environment. We have to focus not only on what we do, but also on how we do it. This must be a commitment from everyone. We have an open-door policy, so we are very excited to share our experience and learnings in this strategy", said the executive.
Among the challenges that the initiative must address, Whittaker highlighted the development of human capital, the skills of the future and sustainability. “We are aware that society's expectations have changed and we have a clear social value strategy. We are aware that this is positive, but it is not enough and we must continue working collaboratively to be increasingly sustainable. This regional strategy can help a lot to guide and coordinate efforts”.
Cristian Sandoval, President of Pampa Norte, BHP, indicated that “We are very happy to contribute to this important initiative, as we believe it is directly connected to our pillar of social value. Our focus is to contribute to the development of capacities, promote the strengthening of the local economy and improve the quality of life of those who inhabit the territory that welcomes us. We seek to continue working together with the various organizations and communities throughout the Antofagasta region to co-create this strategy, which will also allow us to share our vision as a company and actively listen to the different actors to strengthen the mutual benefit of mining activity in Chile".