Chile's copper industry needs to adopt sweeping changes, BHP exec says

|About: BHP Billiton Limited (BHP)|By:, SA News Editor

Chile's copper mining sector faces "massive challenges" and needs to adopt new technologies and improve labor and community relations to keep its global standing, says a senior BHP Billiton (BHP +1.1%) executive.

BHP, coming out of a 43-day strike at Escondida - the world's biggest copper mine - that cost the company ~$1B in losses, suggests Chile's mining companies collaborate to adopt driverless vehicles and other innovations and be open to employing technology from any manufacturer.

Also, public-private partnerships are needed to work on issues such as training and relations with communities where mines are based and more diversity, says Danny Malchuk, president of operations at BHP's Minerals Americas.

"If we don't take a proactive approach, the copper industry in Chile will reduce its global position in the next 25 years in line with the diminishing quality of our assets," the exec warns.