Dec '12/Jan '13

Building a united front

Innovations in Mining 2013 – Latin America highlights importance of collaboration

By Dinah Zeldin

Nathan Stubuna opens the panel discussion.

Just a few short weeks after the CIM Lima, Peru Branch was opened, the inaugural event, Innovations in Mining 2013 – Latin America, further established its role as a vital crossroads for the mining community in the region.

Held November 29-30 at the JW Marriot Hotel in Lima, the two days of presentations and networking events brought together international companies operating in Peru together around the ­common goal of defining affordable strategies to increase efficiency and profitability, while mitigating risks. The event attracted 50 delegates from across the Americas, including representatives from Barrick Gold Peru, Golder Associates, Hatch, SNC-Lavalin, Anatamina, Anglo American and other companies active in the region.

The results of the program helped define the future objectives for the branch, says event organizer and branch chair Bertrand De Windt, who leads Steps Up Consulting. “We need to promote cooperation and downplay competition among mining companies in Peru, and the mining companies need to collaborate more closely with surrounding communities to develop joint programs that will benefit lives and education of residents.”

Presentations focused on techniques to mitigate risks of project failure or disruption in operations. Nathan Stubina, vice-president inter­national at CIM and manager of the Barrick Technology Centre, opened the discussion with a talk that examined obstacles facing the industry today and factors that may affect operations in the future. Other speakers identified strategies that can be adopted, approaching the mining project from a variety of angles: Mark Kennedy, chief technology officer at Norwegian engineering firm Proval Partners, spoke about potential impacts of technical risks; Rafael Tupayachi, human resources manager, Conteras del Halzago Gold Fields, addressed trends in human resources and proposed management strategies; Bertrand De Windt and Al Maiorino, president of Boston-based public relations company Public Strategy, focused on approaches to corporate social responsibility and on innovative programs for community engagement.

“It was an excellent program,” says Stubina. “Water issues, public perceptions of mining and the training of young engineers were recurring themes. The format allowed for lots of interaction, which the audience really appreciated.”

The event closed with a cocktail reception that included traditional Peruvian drinks, and a sampling of Peruvian cuisine at the Larco Mar Centre. The branch’s next event, a lunch lecture, will be held in February. In 2013, the branch will also launch the CIM Leadership Development program in Peru, which will provide participants with an opportunity to visit operations across the country.

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