What are the objectives of the 12th Congress of Prospectors and Explorers (proEXPLO 2021)?
Our objectives for the 12th Congress of Prospectors and Explorers (proEXPLO 2021) include bringing together and integrating the community of Prospectors and Explorers from Peru and the world for presenting new discoveries of mineral deposits, advances in technological innovation for mining exploration, and how we can turn those discoveries into mines. It will also be an opportunity for participants to network and visit the technology and exploration services fair. On the other hand, there will also be presentations by junior exploration companies and private investor projects. I would like to add that proEXPLO 2021 will take place from March 22nd to 26th, 2021.
What changes has the new post-Covid-19 normality generated in terms of structure for this event?
It should be noted that, due to the global health emergency, and in order to safeguard the health of participants, on this occasion, the 12th Congress of Prospectors and Explorers (proEXPLO 2021) will be held online.
What progress has been made towards the 12th Congress of Prospectors and Explorers (proEXPLO 2021)?
Because of its virtual modality, this time proEXPLO 2021 will offer 5 days of technical talks, with 4 - hour duration in the afternoon. At the end of each day, we will present keynote speeches by renowned world-class professionals. Then, in the mornings there will be two days of talks given by Junior Mining Companies and one day of talks given by private mining investors. The suppliers' fair will also be virtual, allowing Congress attendees to interact with the suppliers directly in a virtual environment specially designed for this event. Also, as usual, there will be virtual short pre and post Congress courses.
What are the main new aspects of this new proEXPLO edition?
We will have several news. For example, there will be two days of sessions held by Junior Exploration Mining Companies, one day of sessions for private prospectors, and the biggest novelty is that, this time, proEXPLO 2021 will be completely online and in real time, where participants and speakers will be able to interact directly, and visitors to the fair will also be able to interact with suppliers. We will be providing timely informing on this platform's features, which will be user-friendly and accessible from a computer, tablet or smartphone.
What is your opinion about the recent change in mining exploration regulations made by the government? What would you highlight about this change?
The simplification of procedures for mining exploration is very positive. Unfortunately, in recent years, Peru has lost competitiveness in the management of exploration permits. For example, managing an Environmental Affidavit (DIA, for its Spanish acronym) that allows drilling on up to 40 platforms takes between 18 and 24 months; while in Chile a similar permit takes 3 months and in Canada it takes 2 weeks. Unfortunately, we must recognize that Peru has lost competitiveness in the Fraser ranking; it is our responsibility to improve our ranking.
One of the country's objectives was to capture 8% of investments in exploration worldwide by 2021. Can this still be achieved?
Of course, the country has the best geological characteristics to host different types of ore deposits. If we reduce the time taken to obtain permits for the exploration and execution of mining projects, and if we also define clear rules for our relationship with the communities, Peru will once again be attractive for mining investment, but we are aware that such investment must be a responsible mining investment that complies with Peruvian standards and laws and respects the communities.
What needs to be done to encourage investment in mining exploration in the country?
We need clear rules and reduced permitting times; we need to reach a framework agreement to achieve a social license and eliminate prior consultation. The national, regional and local governments must invest the taxes paid by mining in favor of the communities where mines operate; and, above all, this is the political will of central and regional governments, with the participation of private companies and, of course, communities with whom long-term sustainable development policies must be defined.