Mining was one of the main topics of the VI. German-Chilean Business Summit “On the way to industry 4.0”, which took place on the 24th of November 2015 in Santiago. The conference was organized by the German-Chilean Chamber of Commerce and Industry and counted with the federal state North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) as partner. The event attracted more than 500 participants. Prime Minister Hannelore Kraft and Economy Minister Garrelt Duin lead a delegation from NRW with more than 50 representatives providing expertise in politics, industry and research.
The IV. German-Chilean Forum for Mining and Mineral Resources, which was held in the context of the German-Chilean Business Summit, was opened by the Chilean Mining Minister Aurora Williams. “The aim of Chile is to reach the expansion of the Mining sector with added value and in harmony with the environment as well as society“, she states. The technological development of the German mining sector could serve as a model for Chile.
The main topic of discussion was the scarcity of water in the Chilean mining sector. The successful extension of desalination plants brings about an increase in production costs. Mauro Valdés, the president of the “Alta Ley”-programme, designed to develop the national roadmap of the Chilean mining industry, outlined the challenges for the sector as follows: “In order to maintain and extend our market presence we have to provide a qualitative jump from ‘copper to knowledge’.”
For many years the commercial relationship between Chile and Germany has been excellent. German companies position themselves successfully as world-class suppliers for the Chilean mining sector. The mining industry is not only relevant for Germany as a market but also stands out through its natural resources and thus qualifies as a raw material supplier for the German high-tech industry. Therefore in 2013 the German government signed a cooperation agreement with Chile in order to elevate the German-Chilean relationship in the mining sector to a strategic level and hence work on topics of mutual interest beyond commercial ambition of both parties. In order to facilitate a regular exchange of knowledge, the German-Chilean Forum for Mining and Mineral Resources was convoked as a bilateral annual platform. The Forum is organized by the Competence Centre for Mining & Mineral Resources of the German-Chilean Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the German Mineral Resources Agency (DERA) and is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy of Germany.
Cornelia Sonnenberg, General Manager of the German-Chilean Chamber of Commerce and Industry, emphasized in her conclusion that the German-Chilean Business Summit yet again showed the desire of Germany to contribute towards the development of Chile through know-how, technology transfer and applied research. “This is a meeting of two giants: Chile as the raw-material-giant and Germany as the high-tech-one. The German-Chilean Business Summit showed that we can combine the best of both worlds in a useful manner.”
During the Business Summit the EnergieAgentur.NRW signed a declaration of intent for cooperation with the Industry Association of the mining region Antofagasta (AIA). The Competence Centre for Mining & Mineral Resources of the German-Chilean Chamber of Commerce and Industry and VDMA Mining will act as supporting parties. The Competence Centre for Mining & Mineral Resources of the German-Chilean Chamber of Commerce and Industry furthermore signed a cooperation agreement with the Advanced Mining Technology Center of the Universidad de Chile.
The VI. German-Chilean Business Summit was organized in collaboration with the foreign trade promotion society NRW.International, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce of Essen and other partners, as well as the ministry of economy, energy, industry, medium-sized companies and trade of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia that supported the conference financially. (AHK Chile/Si.)