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Sustainability and Safety: Two Ways to Develop the Future of Mining

One would think that it is technology, or maybe technological advances.  However, maybe it is safety and sustainability that are what future generations will remember us by and how the mining industry can continue being a source of development that arrives to each Chilean home.  I don’t think that it is this industry’s net monetary value that makes it different from the rest.  On the contrary, contributions from this area have been declining within the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  These last few weeks we have been worried about safety.  We have mourned the deaths of three mining workers, even though strategies and plans of risk prevention in health and safety are already in place.  Without a doubt, these events have us closely reevaluating how these accidents might obligate us to further investigate the behaviors of those that work in this industry.  Maybe the accidents obligate us to look at our working philosophies and the personal beliefs of the workforce of a country.   It is here that the influence of this industry can contribute to a country in a very advanced way.  Safety is not means to an end; rather it is a continuing process and a “way of being.”  It is perhaps what differentiates a country between developed or underdeveloped, because people personally start valuing the most important thing that we can cultivate give to the generations to come: life.  Simply said, it is to be healthy and conscious humans, in our families and communities.  But there is also sustainability, this particular way to see operations and their relationship with our surroundings, which is a way to cultivate understanding and allows for all of a country’s diverse jobs in a harmonic way. It is here when communities, our environment and its biodiversity take on transcendental importance.  It is strange, but I believe that for future generations we cannot “sell” the idea that by creating short-term value today we can sow economic support in the future. Without a doubt, the generations to come will demand an “active consciousness,” to show that what is happening to the people and our environment is really important.  We know that our industry cannot deny the impact we have on our environment. The point is to clarify to present and future generations that we can make better advances in the countries where we operate.  This is only the precursor of a human effort that is serious about bettering our relationship with communities, cities, natural environments, and of course, profoundly bettering the relationship with our own existence.  Without a doubt, the feeling in modern mining definitely has stronger ties with short term problems (production problems, prices of commodities, costs, etc.), but we should not forget that we are invested in a much more important task: to make the human race better, to make mining better, to have a better present and a much better future.