Forming Global Partnership Across the Atlantic

Today we experience the world as an interconnected community, both personally and professionally. The digital era has opened doors for communication, transport and data that we couldn’t imagine even 20 years ago. With constantly improving technology, we’re now able to video chat with friends and family across the globe, and we can do business across time zones and cultures like never before.

It’s no surprise that in industries dealing with natural resources that are unevenly distributed around the planet, this new level of connectedness is changing the landscape of business and policy. The mining sector in particular is seeing a number of partnerships that cross land and sea to enhance industries, economies and the lives of citizens.

One such partnership is the Mineral Development Network Platform (MDNP) project. In this EU funded endeavour, the EU, together with seven Latin American partner countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay) are looking to intensify cooperation within non-energy extractive industries. Both regions have different strengths in these industries, and they also face a number of challenges in today’s economy.

In these partnering countries, mining provides substantial revenue and jobs while supplying essential raw materials for fast-growing, cutting-edge sectors such as renewable energy, fuel-efficient transportation and smart technologies.

But the challenges of coping with dropping commodity prices, the need for improving environmental standards and meeting the desires of customers can be a struggle to manage. As major economic and resource contributors, it’s the duty of these countries to move forward in socially, environmentally and economically sustainable ways, in full alignment with the UN Sustainable Developments Goals.

The MDNP project can help both Latin American countries and those in the EU to achieve these goals by forming global partnership across the Atlantic. Latin America is a major source of raw materials, including critical minerals and metals that are needed in the EU. And the EU is a global leader in innovation and new technology, especially in the areas of machinery and sustainability that are so important in extractive industries. By working together, both regions can enjoy the benefits of the other, while boosting their own economies and providing for their citizens.

A major part of the MDNP project is building a digital platform that will help foster such cooperation. This resource will offer extensive resources relevant to all industries related to non-energy extractive activities in English, Spanish and Portuguese so that people from all participating countries can participate in their native tongues. The platform will also provide a means for people across the Atlantic to connect directly and discover ways they can work together. 

To provide potential partners with an opportunity to make personal connections and jump start such progress, the Mining Exploration and Trade Show Conference (METS) will be held for the first time in Madrid in April 2018 as part of the MDNP project. EU and Latin American stakeholders will have the chance to meet in person and discuss possible ways to open doors for progress and help overcome challenges within the mining sector.

The event will feature expert speakers and workshops covering a range of key industry topics such as trade potential, geological surveys, training and skills, health and safety, and good governance. There will also be a trade show running alongside the conference where attendees can learn about and see demonstrations of the latest technological developments and investment opportunities.

The MDNP partnership is a celebrated example of mutually beneficial exchange that helps not only the businesses and organizations involved, but also the citizens living in the countries impacted. METS 2018 will be a major part of solidifying partnerships and discovering new possibilities for organizations within the mining sector. 

Corina Hebestreit