SAN JUAN, ARGENTINA. SEPTEMBER 2nd, 2010. The eighth edition of the most important mining convention in Argentina ended today in San Juan on its third day of conferences and exhibition of mining companies and satellite sectors. The assessment of the event organized by Argentina Mining is highly successful in terms of attendance rate and the quality of top-level exhibitions.

The tradeshow gathered more than 400 companies of which 100 were mining companies. Over 550 participants attended the conferences and mining-related companies exhibited in 110 booths. Besides, in this edition, there were three special pavilions where Canada, Australia, and Chile acted as a block. The convention ended with an attendance of more than 3,000 visitors who actively interacted during the three days of the exhibition.

The closing celebration started last night at Bahía Las Tablas, place where the official dinner and award ceremony were held. Since 2000, Argentina Mining has presented awards to the outstanding professionals of the Argentinean mining sector. In this opportunity, the nominees were selected by the organizing, executive and advisory committees, and the winners were voted by the Argentinean mining community at the web site More than 850 votes demonstrated the success of this new format of selection.

In the category “Outstanding International Entrepreneur”, which recognizes a businessperson who has trusted in the mining potential of Argentina by bringing their companies and investments throughout the years, the Argentinean mining community decided to grant the award to Mr. Ross Beaty, founder of Pan American Silver Corp., one of the leading companies in worldwide silver production.

Mr. Beaty specifically arrived in San Juan to be present at the award ceremony and, in his thanking speech, he stated, “I am really happy to be in Argentina and happy with the projects we have here, a place that offers too many advantages, particularly its people, wines, and meat, though there are also some difficulties as high taxes, but we will continue moving forward and investing in Argentina. ”

The category “Outstanding Geological or Engineering Professional” is aimed at honoring a professional geologist or mining engineer who has discovered, identified or developed projects, or has left his mark due to his technical or project developing capacity. In this case, the award was granted to Eduardo Antonio Machuca Woodbridge, who was born in Chile and later obtained the  Argentinean nationality. “I remember when I started studying in San Juan 40 year ago I thought that if mining was possible in Chile, how would it not be possible in Argentina. Today I see the dream has become true. It would be nice that we all understand and may communicate that the task we do is honorable, we know what we have and what we must do with the resources nature provides,” commented Machuca in his speech.

Then, there followed the category “Outstanding Professional in other Disciplines” where Argentina Mining honored Carlos Saravia Frias, partner of Saravia Frias & Mazzinghi Lawyers.

Finally, in the category “Exploring/Mining Company or Entity Distinguished by their  CSR initiatives”, the award was granted to the company Xstrata, a world-class diversified mining group trading in London and Switzerland.  Its operations and projects are located in 18 countries, including Argentina. The company hires over 50,000 people, including contractors.

Conferences on the third day On the third day of conferences, the convention started with Julio Ortiz’ lecture, Coro Mining, who provided a detailed overview of San Jorge project and its relationship with the community. He shared his experience and communicated the advances in the relationship with the project’s neighboring inhabitants.

Then, Chilean Álvaro Acevedo Rojas made a comparative analysis of sustainability indicators used in the mining industry. He evaluated the Sustainability Indicators of large and middle-sized companies in the international mining industry with presence in Chile, based on his 2008 Sustainability Reports, with the purpose of identifying the Indicators used, the frequency of their use, the efficiency of the most frequent indicators in the reports, and he compared the studied companies according to the Indicators used.

“The work methodology involved identifying the indicators most widely used by the companies, quantifying the frequency of its use, comparing the amount of information each company provided for each performance level (environmental, social or economic), and analyzing the Indicators in relation to the criteria they should meet in accordance with OCDE and CEPAL norms. The study identified a total of 43 Environmental Indicators, 52 Social Indicators and 20 Economic Indicators. The study concludes, on the one hand, that the total amount of reported Indicators show a tendency to emphasize the social aspect, with four companies in this order, whereas the rest of them score much lower than the total amount of available Indicators, though they maintain a balance in the amount of information offered in the three performances,” explained Acevedo.

Next, the Peruvian consultant Andrés Recalde talked about the social dimension as a competitive advantage of mineral-extracting industries of the 21st century. Globally, these industries are experiencing a fast and deep paradigm shift: “That is the inclusion of the social dimension as a central component of corporate strategies. Mining companies, in particular, are being questioned about their contribution to the sustainable development in the regions where they operate and the companies’ answer is the adoption of corporate social responsibility or CSR policies,” analyzed Recalde in his presentation.

However, he warned that, “to ensure their effectiveness, CSR policies must be applied consistently and carried out by qualified professionals. Under these circumstances, CSR policies should represent competitive advantages for the companies that invest in social issues. The competitive advantages of mining companies have evolved from only technical and financial advantages into, and including, social ones. The main objective is how to obtain and maintain the inclusion and social legitimacy of the project or company. This new reality follows a global trend which is being analyzed and carried out by several companies in the extracting industry.”

Then, Mexican Casilda Malagón, ICMM, talked about Communication and Information in Mining: Building Acceptance. After that, Bernardo Parizek, Ausenco Vector, analyzed the socio-environmental approach of mining projects and the current situation. Horacio Gabriel, Pan American Silver, talked about the sustainable development in Santa Cruz massif: The Manantial Espejo experience. Last, Diego Malbrés, Minera Santa Cruz and Juan José Hamer, Santa Cruz Chamber of Mining Suppliers, evaluated the development of mining suppliers.

In the session dedicated to legal and financial issues, Karina Lucía Castellano, Beretta Godoy Law Firm, talked about mining and foreign currencies, and the exchange system. Mercedes Ribet, Deloitte Law Firm, commented on the principal encumbrances on mining activity, tax burden, and tax update. Then, Florencia Heredia, Holt Law Firm, analyzed the way to do businesses in Argentina, and Patricia Inzirillo, Inzirillo & Asociados, focused on tenement management in Argentina.

The last session of conferences was dedicated to advanced projects where attendants became informed about Casposo, Los Azules, Pascua Lama, as well as projects in Mendoza and their advancements.

First Forum Opportunities in Mining

In this edition, Argentina Mining 2010’s program included an innovative activity: the “First Forum Opportunities in Mining” which was aimed at allowing other sectors of San Juan’s community and nearest provinces to be informed about the key opportunities there exist for them in the mining industry.

Chambers of commerce and business, professional and technical associations, as well as legislators, businesspersons, professionals and technicians with interest in offering services or looking for job opportunities in the mining sector participated in this activity.