Chili, mine of western countries
We are not exagerating while saying that Chili can be considered the mine of western countries. Figures speak for themselves.
Probably, the components of that Tablet or Smartphone at your fingertips (so indispensable for you) have been manufactured from the mineral resources of this Latin-American country. It is with good reason that Chili is world-leader in copper, molybdenum, silver, gold, lithium, iodine and nitrates.
In the case of copper, Chili leads world production of this metal reaching up to 5.433KTMF in 2012, representing 31,8% of global copper production, also meeting five of the 10 biggest mines in the world. Furthermore, Chili has operations of the main mining companies such as: BHP Billiton, Barrick, GlencoreXstrata, AngloAmerican, Freeport-McMoran Copper & Gold, Antofagasta Minerals, SQM and Codelco the public Chilean mining company, among others.
The impact of mining sector in Chilean GDP is huge: it is about a 13% of the GDP, without considering all the industrial and service sectors around it. Only in exports, it represents a 59,7% of the total, providing a 14% in fiscal reveneues. In addition, mining is a sector in constant growth, inasmuch as last Cochilco (Chilean Copper Comission) registry, the investment project about to be implemented until 2021, reaches US$ 112.000 million.
Nevertheless, the biggest Chilean industry is facing diverse national challenges, two above the rest: high energy costs & the drought gripping a considerable part of the country over the last five years.
In a country with great economic resources and one of the highest solar irradiation levels, it seems obvious that the solution to external energy dependence comes from new solar technologies. In fact, there are several projects for solar field implementation seeking to place Chile on energy self-sufficiency levels in the next decades.
In the meantime, mining companies are rushing to obtain more efficient processes for mineral extraction, but it seems like so far they have put aside, or at least haven’t been aware that their industrial efficiency is related to the quality of their buildings too. Let’s not forget that most of the holdings & labour sites are located over altitudes of 2.000-3.000 and even 4.000m above sea level, suffering temperatures down to -16ºC many weeks a year. Therefore, mining companies must find pre-engineered building solutions to improve energy efficiency of their settlements, with significant energy & cost savings.
Regarding drought, the solution is not that easy. Mining industry requires a big quantity of fresh water to their processes, clashing head on local communities that depend on those same resources for their daily survival. There are many regions where agriculture has been abandoned and population has been forced to change profession or simply emigratre.
Offering dry construction system is not going solve the problem, but at least it will contribute to reduce water demand of the mining companies thus collaborating on higher water availability to local communities.
CIDARK was as exhibitor at EXPONOR 2015, the biggest mining fair in Chili together with EXPOMIN, to present our P3 Constructive System and offer new generation pre engineered buildings to this business sector. We are convinced that high efficiency rates of our solutions in terms of energy & logistics, will mean a jump of quality for mining industry, as well as other sectors like housing in the future.