Canada-Chile Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of Minerals and Metals
In June 2008, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chile’s former President Michelle Bachelet signed a declaration covering five memoranda of understanding to strengthen cooperation between Chile and Canada, including one in the area of cooperation for the sustainable development of minerals and metals.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation for the Sustainable Development of Minerals and Metals demonstrates Canada and Chile’s commitment to mining that uses innovation and green technologies to contribute to sustainable economic growth, social development and the reduction of the industry’s environmental footprint. This MOU is intended to create opportunities for Canada and Chile to collaborate and share knowledge on environmental and natural-resource technologies, and to promote investment and trade in minerals and metals. It will also facilitate the exchange of best practices in areas such as corporate social responsibility, natural-resource governance and community engagement.
Since its signature, the Department of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the Canadian Embassy in Santiago have been working together with the Chilean Ministry of Mining to pursue concrete actions in line with the objectives of the MOU. Achievements to date under each of the priority areas are summarized below:
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
- Canada and Chile held a CSR workshop on December 9, 2008 entitled “Governments, Corporations and Non-Governmental Organizations: Transparency and Dialogue”
- The Canadian Embassy in Santiago published and launched a Mining Tool Kit in January 2012. The Chile Mining Tool Kit is an adaptation of the Mining Tool Kit for Aboriginal Communities that was originally published in Canada in 2006. The Manual is in Spanish and targetted at Chilean stakeholders. This capacity building tool was designed to provide information on the mining cycle and its different phases in order to support a more informed and pro-active dialogue between Government, companies and communities.
- Other achievements include the launching, by the Chile-Canada Chamber of Commerce in November 2010, of a report on CSR activities of Canadian companies in Chile.
Junior Equity Financing for Exploration
In light of the challenges that smaller companies face trying to obtain funding for exploration projects, Canada and Chile organized a number of activities to share information related to Canada’s approach, i.e. the Toronto Stock Exchange’s experience with equity financing:
- The Canadian Embassy in Santiago and the Chilean Ministry of Mining co-sponsored a number of training workshops focused on stock exchange equity financing in the mining sector.
- Representatives of the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) have visited Chile on a number of occasions to share their technical knowledge and expertise.
- Chilean government officials visited the TSX in 2010, 2011, and 2012, with a view to learning more about the TSX approach to stock listing mining companies
Other achievements include:
- In 2010, Chile created a local chapter of the Competent Person concept, (Competent Person implies a mining professional who can responsibly sign technical documentation for the benefit of investors). Currently, more than 100 Chilean mining professionals have been certified as local Competent Persons.
- The Chilean Government developed the Fenix Fund, a local mining exploration development fund, in an effort to increase mining exploration potential among local junior companies.
Development of a Mining Cluster
- Chile is seeking to develop a Mining Cluster and has allocated considerable resources toward stimulating innovation, new technology adoption, and public-private partnerships. While Chile has already established a Strategic National Council of the Mining Cluster, which includes representatives from the public, private and academic sectors, more recent achievements include:
- Chile’s Economic Development Agency, CORFO, has developed Mining Cluster policies aimed at adding-value to, and enhancing innovation and the adoption of new technologies of, local mining sector companies and suppliers. CORFO’s pilot Mining Cluster emulates to some extent Canadian mining clusters located in Northern Ontario and Northern Quebec.
- CORFO has also been organizing an annual International Investment Forum for Mining Suppliers. A number of Canadian mining sector suppliers that have participated in the forum have since established operations in Chile.
Commodity and Industry Analysis
Canada and Chile have exchanged information in areas of common interest, including commodity demand and supply, international mining tax comparison, and value-chain analysis. In addition, Chile and Canada have discussed relevant international market access issues as they arise.
For more information, please contact:
Canadian Embassy in Chile
Tel.: (56-2) 652-3852
Fax: (56-2) 652-3915