Chile’s Minister of Mining provides industry overview at Beedie event

Mar 06, 2012

The future of the the Chilean mining sector and its implications for the economies of Chile, Latin America and beyond were the focus of a special forum hosted on March 2 at the Beedie School of Business.

The event featured Dr. Hernan Eduardo de Solminihac Tampier, Minister of Mining for Chile, whose presentation zeroed in on the “Challenges and Opportunities in the Chilean Mining Industry.”

The event, hosted by Beedie in conjunction with SFU International, was held at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue in downtown Vancouver. During his presentation, Dr. de Solminihac highlighted Chile’s prominent and growing role in global copper production, and how the country’s success in mining among other sectors has helped it to establish 21 free trade agreements with 58 countries.

The continued growth and strength of mining in Chile has meant new challenges for the country, particularly in four areas, he pointed out. Those challenges are in addressing continued attention to optimal labour safety and sustainable growth, as well as the impacts of mine closures. Dr. de Solminihac also noted that he would like to see Chile’s financial sector align more closely with his country’s mining sector.

Other issues on the horizon for the country’s mining sector include water availability, as well as labour shortages. Dr. de Solminihac said the country would need 69,000 more people with professional and technical qualifications to meet mining industry workforce demand in Chile.

His presentation coincided with recent initiatives launched at the Beedie School, including the Responsible Minerals Sector Initiative, which is providing a forum for dialogue on sustainability, effective leadership and responsible management in the mineral sector.

The Beedie School has also entered the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI). This initiative, involving leading business schools and companies internationally, aims to promote understanding of globally responsible leadership and to develop its practice.

Last year, SFU has launched its new EMBA cohort, the Americas MBA for Executives, which is providing senior-level management education for those business leaders and entrepreneurs with existing interests and aspirations across North and South America, including Latin America.

Dr. de Solminihac obtained his Civil Engineer Professional Title at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and his MSc and PhD at The University of Texas, Austin. He was formerly Dean of the School of Engineering and Professor of the College of Engineering at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. From 1998 to 2004, he served as Director of the Direction of Technological and Scientific.

In February 2010, Sebastian Piñera, the elected President of Chile, invited Dr. de Solminihac to join his cabinet. From March 2010 until July 2011 was in charge of the Ministry of Public Works. At the end of July 2011, he became Chile’s Minister of Mining.

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