Every two years Chile hosts the Exponor international trade fair in the mining region’s capital, Antofagasta. This year from the 15th to 19th May, more than 1,000 exhibitors from 30 countries received over 40,000 visitors.
The German-Chilean Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK Chile) participated for the 3rd time with a joint German pavilion, presenting 35 exhibitors: 17 from Germany and 18 AHK Chile associates and Chilean representatives of German companies, amongst them 26 first-time exhibitors. The joint German stand (Figure 1) was the second biggest country pavilion after the United States, Exponor 2017’s “Guest Nation”.
For the first time the trade fair included a “German Day”, when twelve German companies had a chance to showcase their products and services. AHK Chile, EnergieAgentur.NRW, the Antofagasta Industrial Association (AIA) and VDMA Mining organised the event, giving German corporations an opportunity to offer their products, technologies and services as interesting solutions for the challenges that the Chilean mining industry is currently facing (Figure 2).
The innovations that were promoted include efficiency-enhancing conveyor systems and components with a long service life, systems to integrate big data for process optimization, automated sampling for fast mineral content identification, technologies to analyse the elements contained in leach heaps, optimized spare part supply to avoid downtime, and automation solutions.
A networking session where the German companies established direct contact with potential Chilean business partners proved to be a particular highlight. The day was crowned with a visit to the world’s largest open-pit mine, Chuquicamata (Figure 3).
“The fair provided great insights into the Chilean mining market and opportunities to establish more contacts. Taken as a whole, the outcome of our participation is promising”, commented Joachim Käufler, who represents the Engineering and General Technical Planning company Synlift in Potsdam – which, together with project development firm Chile Contact, is designing a solar-powered desalination plant to be built in the Atacama desert.
Christian Rogaß, Deutsches GeoFor-schungs-Zentrum Potsdam (GFZ), summed up his experience: “We are very satisfied, because we have found new customers and inspiration”.
Thomas Barth attended in representation of APC Analytics, a company that develops and manufactures sampling, preparation, and analysis devices for industrial applications. He was also very happy to have made many valuable contacts with other attendees, including equipment manufacturers, mine process designers, and mine operators. The majority of the exhibitors have expressed their intention to repeat their participation, at the Exponor 2019 Joint German Stand. (Camchal/Si.)