"Peru-Australia FTA will bring great opportunities for the mining industry in both countries”

Stated Marie Hill, Commercial Advisor from Austrade Peru and Ecuador, who will attend PERUMIN 33 Mining Convention.

Peruvian and Australian governments are negotiating the signature of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to strengthen the business relationship in goods, services and investments between both countries. Such FTA could bring important benefits for the mining industry.

Stated Marie Hill, Commercial Advisor of Australia in Peru, who will attend PERUMIN 33 Mining Convention, event organized by the Peruvian Institute of Mining Engineers to be held from September 18 to 22 at the Universidad Nacional de San Agustín.

What are the main strengths of the Australian

Australian mining industry and resources have more than 200 years of experience. It also has the largest lead, nickel and zinc reserves in the world and is the world leader in the production of commodities. It is this abundance of natural resources combined with the strong investment in research and development what has built an industry with trained professionals, equipment manufacturing and advanced processes of mining with state-of- the-art technology.

Also, Australian communities are relatively empowered and informed which adds responsibility to the mining companies to satisfy the community’s expectations (some of them are even owners or investors since most companies list on the stock market). This means that the sustainability, ethics and responsibility are a key part of the business practices in the Australian mining sector.

Australian mining companies work based on sustainable development and are focus on the mine closure from the start. Considering the environment before, during and after the mining process. Therefore, Australia is not only an important ore exporter but has become a country leader in exporting equipment, services and mining technologies. Thus, they contribute with A$90 billion a year to the Australian economy with current exports higher than A$27 billion.

The Australian mining sector built a strong reputation as worldwide leader in the sector, addressing several topics. For example, we are leaders in the creation and development of mining equipment, technology and services (METS). At the same time, since in Australia ores and metals are usually are in remote areas, companies had also to perfect exploration techniques, placing at the forefront of the technology of this specialty. In addition, Australian industry invests greatly in research and development, both, at organizational level and at the university sector.

One of the Australian strengths here in Peru is the educative sector and not mainly in the mining industry. It has different courses and programs closely related to the industry, internationally noted. Generally, the vocational education in Australia places the current and future needs of the industry in the center of its consideration. Therefore, the design of the curriculum and the teachers must be up- to-date to make sure that teaching practices are relevant and according contemporary needs. I believe that the key aspect is the response from the system and flexibility to design customized programs and to share them through seasoned professionals, which gives the option of combining work and study.

How important is for a country with mining potential to know and use technology? What are the outstanding experiences of the Australian mining industry?

Due to the harsh conditions of the industry in Australia, the use of technologies to face this great challenge have been developed and perfected. Australian companies have great presence in planning, development and delivery of a wide range of world-class METS, designed to ensure mines to be productive, reach high environmental standards and contribute to a sustainable economic development.

Likewise, Australia is considered a world leader in mining automation technologies that allow resources companies to safely and efficiently operate in remote and hard conditions. It also maintains the global leadership in the development of software for extractive industries, with a 60% share of the mining software development available in the world.

What expectations do you have regarding PERUMIN 33 Mining Convention? How many times has Australia taken part of this great event?

We have many expectations for this edition, not only from the organizational point of view and the success of PERUMIN 33, but also regarding the recovery of the Peruvian mining sector. We hope that during the event many novelties about the efforts carried out to continue projects and operations, as well as attracting larger mining investments will be presented. The success of Australian suppliers for the mining sector will depend on the Start-up of these investments.

Australia attends PERUMIN Mining Convention since 2003, this year 2017 will be our 8th edition of the Australian Pavilion. In 2013, thanks to the important participation of more than 25 companies, our pavilion was awarded as the Best International Pavilion.

How many Australian companies will attend PERUMIN 33 Mining Convention and what are the innovations that will present?

It is a pleasure to announce that in this edition of PERUMIN Mining Convention, through Austrade, 13 Australian companies will participate, including Ausenco, Austin Engineering, Corescan, Deswik, Leapfrog, Konnx (Ausproof) Maptek, Mineware, Oniqua, Orica, JK Tech, Donhad and RPMGlobal. We would like to thank the support from Orica, who will make an important announcement and to the Victoria Government for supporting Australia’s reception on Tuesday, September 19. We also thank Austin for the meeting that we are organizing for them on Wednesday, September 20 at our Pavilion.

For this year, as in the prior editions, Austrade will be in charge of organizing an agenda for business development activities for the companies of our pavilion. The agenda will include presentations from mining companies on their operations and procurement processes, a cocktail to gather Australian companies with the representatives of the local mining industry; among other activities to be developed during the week.

In this year, we will participate of the I International Meeting in PERUMIN where the Australian block will focus on promoting its experience in community relations and in how the mining activity contributes to the regional development through the creation of clusters. Also, we will address the importance of the technical education for the sector. You are all invited.

Finally, Australia and Peru are negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will facilitate many opportunities for the exchange of services, equipment and technology in the mining sector between both countries.

What do you think about the development of mining in Peru? What are the aspects that, in your opinion, should be improved or reinforced?

Australia, like Peru, is a mining country par excellence and we also have a similar ore base. We face similar challenges, with remote locations, complicated geography and problems regarding water management. Therefore, we believe Australia is an ideal ally to develop the Peruvian mining sector.

The strengths of the Australian mining sector foster a great deal of the economic development of the country and supported the social development. Even though the challenges of both countries are different, Australia knew how and when to invest and develop solutions to overcome these challenges and did a lot of community relations work. Thanks to these conditions, Australia developed a highly-qualified suppliers’ industry to face these tests.

Peru has been blessed with an ore richness and diversity, a hard-worker and talented labor, a robust economy and a favorable political context. This is the perfect recipe for success. I believe that the Australian experience may help Peru to fully profit from these advantages and overcome some challenges, like in infrastructure and capabilities. The other challenge Peru must face, and with this improve investment in the sector, is the existence of corruption.

We believe that the Peruvian mining sector enjoys a great and proven potential, but we also believe that is necessary to review the regulatory aspect to secure the needed guarantees to reactivate the sector and work to regain the trust from investors and reactivate exploration. With this respect, the Peruvian government plays a key role and Australia will always be willing to support it through private investment and the exchange of experiences, services and technologies as we have been doing it for many years already.