Today, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) convened top executives from international leading companies to learn from each other in order to improve their health and safety performance.
During the opening ceremony of the three-day conference, the Chilean Minister of Mines, Mr Hernán De Solminihac, hailed the international organization for its efforts to raise the industry's performance in sustainable development.
He said "The mining industry has multiple challenges, such as the health and safety of its workers. Our government's concern in this issue was heightened following the San José Mine accident. President Sebastián Piñera has asked us to work intensely to address this issue in a holistic fashion, by considerably increasing the number of site-level audits, the training of safety monitors and ensuring mine sites comply with national regulations."
Thomas Keller, CEO of Codelco - the world's biggest producer of copper, spoke in representation of ICMM's Council of 22 CEOs. "For Codelco, it is no longer enough to deliver the resources that benefit all Chileans, we must also play an active role in improving international sustainability standards. We are here, shoulder to shoulder with our fellow ICMM member companies and associations, to find ways of improving how we take care of our employees".
Anthony Hodge, ICMM President, closed the ceremony by stating the importance of Chile in the global mining and metals industry. "As an industry, we should be proud of the way we have made the well-being of our workers a priority and the way we have made worker health and safety a core part of our business," said Anthony Hodge. "However, we still have a long way to go. It is our aim for this conference to be a stepping stone in that journey, looking to move us forward and improve the industry's performance."
The Health and Safety Conference will run from 13 to 16 November in Santiago, Chile. It is the second conference of its kind that ICMM has organized and brings together 300 top level executives, including the CEOs of five member companies, to share best practices and learnings concerning common health and safety issues.