April 21, 2016

Second National Mining Congress: A call to competitiveness in the sector

“It is no secret that the world changed us and, as a sector, we are faced with the huge challenge of adapting to this new reality,” were the words with which Roberto Junguito, President of Cerrejón, began his speech at the National Mining Congress 2016. It was organized by the Colombian Mining Association, an organization of which Mr Junguito is on the executive board.

Mr Junguito, as other panellists did, called on various public and private institutions to work together to make this sector stronger and more competitive in the country, which is particularly crucial in the current conditions affecting the sector in the last few years. “We are convinced that, with the ability, commitment, and human resources we have, in addition to the support of different national, regional, and international entities, we will be able to continue positively contributing to the country’s development,” noted Mr Junguito.

In addition to reflections on sector challenges in the post-conflict period (a central topic at this Congress), today’s agenda also addressed other issues of interest such as the relationship of mining with the land, communities, and climate change. Over 450 people participated in this event, including government officials, representatives from the most important mining firms in the country, suppliers, academics, journalists, and others.

Panellists included Alejandro Ordoñez; the Solicitor General, Juan Fernando Cristo; the Minister of the Interior, Juan Carlos Henao; the Chancellor of the Externado University of Colombia; the Deputy Minister of Mines, María Isabel Ulloa; the Director of the Ideam, Omar Franco; and Senator Claudia López. This is the second congress of the Colombian Mining Association, an umbrella group for 50 firms, both mining companies and suppliers of sector-related goods and services. As a whole, the mining sector provides 350,000 direct jobs and contributes an average of COP 2.4 billion a year in taxes and royalties.