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Sierra Gorda Receives National Mining Award

November 01, 2019

On August 30, 2019, Sierra Gorda S.C.M. (SGSCM), a SC-partnered mining operation in Santiago, Chile, received the FY2019 National Mining Society Award by the Sociedad Nacional de Mineria (SONAMI), the Chilean mining industry association.

In the Large Producers category, the board of SONAMI bestowed the award upon SGSCM, which celebrates its fifth year of operation in 2019 and is one of the last mining megaprojects built in Chile. The award recognizes SGSCM’s unflagging efforts and outstanding operational record, as exemplified by its increase in the ore processing quantity after overcoming numerous operational difficulties, as well as its continued operation on a stable basis. Sumitomo Corporation is a partner in the mine with KGHM Polska MiedźS.A. and Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd.

Established in 1883, SONAMI has a membership of over 70 mining companies in Chile and selects one company each in the categories of large-scale mines and small- or medium-scale mines for this award every August. SONAMI has awarded these prizes since 1990 as recognition of the productive performance of the associated companies of the large, medium and small mining, metallic and nonmetallic.

The project is located in the Region of Antofagasta, district of Sierra Gorda, 60 kilometers from Calama and 150 kilometers from Antofagasta city. SGSCM serves as one of the major producers of copper and molybdenum concentrate in Chile.

“Since the beginning of its operation in 2014, Sierra Gorda SCM has faced great challenges, mainly due to its low ore grade and the difficulties related to the ‘super mining cycle,’ such as high construction costs and low metal prices,” explained Yuichiro Imaeda, Debottlenecking Development Manager, Sierra Gorda SCM. “However, thanks to the extraordinary work of the employees, not only have they managed to stabilize a complex operation, but they have managed to overcome the design capacity and this year they have achieved the best operational results in their history.”

“Additionally, during these first 5 years of operation, SGSCM has successfully overcome all of its environmental challenges, has implemented important innovations in sustainability and has built an excellent relationship with its neighbors in the town of Sierra Gorda.”

SGSCM employees celebrate their award with the mayor of Sierra Gorda village.