LIMA, SEPTEMBER 17 2021 "We are conducting pilot tests of initiating blasting remotely from the surface"

Aldo de la Cruz, Vice President of Operations for Volcan Compañía Minera, provides details on the workings of one of the world's largest producers of zinc, lead and silver.

Do you consider it important to promote mining in the regions, as is being done by Heading to PERUMIN? Why?

Mining activity is one of the main pillars of the economy of our country. Therefore, we all have an enormous responsibility to report on the important contributions that formal mining makes. Our goal is to have a sustainable coexistence in harmony, environmental care, safety and development of communities. 

As a company, our best promotion is the link with our workers, suppliers, clients and communities as strategic partners. We have a vision of prioritizing local employment and promoting the development of community businesses.

Our standards of safety and respect for human rights apply to all people and companies that work with our organization. 

It is the obligation of all of us who directly and indirectly participate in formal mining activity to report the permanent contribution made by the sector for the benefit of the country's development.

Analysts have highlighted the need to close infrastructure and social gaps to reduce conflict. In what way is Volcan Compañía Minera contributing to this process?

Since 2010, Volcan has been contributing to the process of closing social and infrastructure gaps in the country, through the Works for Taxes Projects Program. These are aimed at meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations (UN).

These projects contribute to reducing poverty, developing infrastructure and generating partnerships for development. Since the Works for Taxes program began, we have been able to finance S/ 108.5 million in 14 infrastructure and public services projects with great social impact. These projects were oriented to education, water and sanitation, solid waste management and transportation, among others, benefiting almost 500,000 people and incorporating components of sustainability, innovation and integral solutions.

We are also a founding member of ALOXI, the Alliance for Works for Taxes, which brings together the companies responsible for the execution of more than 80% of investment under this mechanism.

In addition, Volcan began the development of the Chancay port, now a 40% participant, 60% of which is owned by its strategic partner Cosco Shipping Group. The first stage of construction involves an estimated investment of USD 1.3 billion that includes the entrance complex, the underground viaduct tunnel, the port operating area, the container terminal with two docks and the terminal for bulk cargo, general cargo and rolling cargo with two other docks.

The development of the port of Chancay represents a great opportunity for the economic development of Peru through a new connectivity network made up of maritime and land economic corridors between China and the whole world. Its location 80 km north of Lima and its exceptional geographical characteristics will allow it to become, in the medium term, the center of port operations and integrated logistics in the Pacific region.

Through this type of works, Volcan collaborates and continues to be committed to reducing the infrastructure and public services gap in the country.

What are Volcan Compañía Minera's plans for the coming months of this year?

In the last quarter, Volcan’s priority has been to continue with the application of our COVID-19 protocols in our Mining Units to ensure the health and safety of our workers; that is to say, safe operations and increase activities in our mines to recover our productivity levels that were impacted in this stage of the health emergency.

It is important to mention that we have a strategic plan, with short, medium and long term support. Following the guidelines and principles established in the LoA (Life of Asset) plans in the operations.

What are Volcan Compañía Minera’s challenges for the development of its activities and operations?

Our main challenges are: 
•    Continue with the implementation of a preventive culture in HSEC management in all our operations.
•    Continue with the development of the aggressive exploration plan that will allow us to increase and improve our mineral resources with greater certainty.
•    Increase productivity and improve cost management.
•    Maximize the profitability of our mining operations and projects with the implementation and application of best practices in project management.
•    Develop the most advanced projects, for example, the Romina project should start mining in the next 4 years.
What technological trends are you applying in your mining activities?

Volcan is always in search of cutting-edge technologies in the mining sector and making technological change as a support tool and continuous improvement in the production process to strengthen a safe and sustainable operation.

Additionally, these changes are aligned with world-class standards and safety regulations.

Thus, we can mention the following applications a) Group voice communication system, b) Emergency Response System, c) Equipment proximity and anti-collision systems, and d) Fatigue and drowsiness detection systems, among others.

For example, in the search to strengthen our best practices in the blasting process, in order to completely eliminate the physical exposure of our technicians, pilot tests are being carried out to start blasting remotely from the surface. To date, we have had satisfactory results in our Animón and Andaychagua underground mines.

With the use of this technology, Volcan would become one of the first mining companies in the country to carry out controlled blasting from the surface.

What environmental and social programs are you currently developing in your areas of operations?

Volcan is committed to environmental management oriented towards sustainable development. Part of this vision of sustainability is the continuous strengthening of environmental performance in all our activities, with the prevention and mitigation of environmental impacts, which is why a Management Program based on Critical Environmental Risks (RCA, in Spanish) has been carried out since 2016.

Along this path, standards, requirements, tools and indicators have been established for the application of best environmental practices and achieving world-class environmental management. With continuous challenges in improving results as part of the commitment to a culture of corporate sustainability.

Likewise, in order to guarantee harmonious relations with our environment, we have aligned our social responsibility initiatives in the communities of our operational environments, with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). To achieve these goals, we have established partnerships with private entities and governmental and non-governmental organizations.

In education, we have been in partnership with the NGO Enseña Perú for seven years, incorporating teachers from that organization to the various schools in our area of influence. In this way, the company is obtaining immediate results in the academic performance of students, managing to impact 923 students directly and 1,540 indirectly. This intervention is being carried out in the communities of our mining units in Yauli, Chungar and Cerro de Pasco.

Likewise, we continue with the comprehensive SENATI and CETEMIN scholarship program, which directly benefits young people from the surrounding communities, which allows them to be trained in specialties that facilitate their incorporation into the labor market.

Regarding health, we are committed to generating sustainable impacts and improvements in health standards in the communities in our areas of influence. For this reason, together with the NGO Prisma, our strategic partner in health, we have designed a project that seeks to monitor diseases in each community, their evolution over time, and develop medical campaigns to address them.

Moreover, we have been working hand in hand with the same organization in the development of the "Pasco Sin Anemia" (Pasco without Anemia) project through the Cerro Regional Health Directorate, which aims to reduce the prevalence rate of anemia by 50% in children under 5 years of age and pregnant mothers in the province of Pasco.

Faced with the health emergency caused by COVID-19, we managed to focus a social fund aimed at vulnerable communities in our areas of influence. Under the guidelines of this fund, we were able to deliver more than 13,100 basic medical kits for the vulnerable population, improved medical kits to equip local medical posts, and food kits.

We also made a direct donation of two oxygen plants, one for the Cayetano Heredia Hospital in Lima and the other for the Daniel Alcides Carrión Hospital in Cerro de Pasco, through the signing of a Framework Agreement for Institutional Cooperation between the Regional Health Directorate of Pasco and our Company.

It should be noted that both oxygen generating plants are operating and produce high purity oxygen, in the range of 95% to 96% in a stable manner. They have the capacity to produce 20 m3 of oxygen per hour and supply it to the entire hospital network 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Newsletter PERUMIN 35

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