In an interview with Mining Engineering for SME’s Though Leaders Podcast series, Freeport-McMoRan president Americas, Harry (Red) Conger said he feels the mining industry, especially copper, is as strong as ever, with better days ahead.
“I think the industry has never been in better shape than it is right now and I know that we have days ahead of us that are even better than they are today,” said Conger. “We are copper centric. We are very upbeat about the future markets for copper as rural, agrarian societies become more industrialized … We are excited about the world continuing to improve in the standard of living and we are excited about the role we play in that.”
Conger was one of the presenters at the keynote address of the 2015 SME Annual Conference and Expo, “The Mine of the Future: Forecasting opportunities and challenges for the global mining industry.” In this podcast he expands on some of this thoughts presented during the keynote address and discusses the importance of finding the next generation of engineers for the mining industry.
Conger also spoke about Freeport-McMoRan’s expansions at Morenci and Cerro Verde mines and what it is going to take to make the mine of the future become a reality.
"The mines of the future will be made and what I mean by made is there are a wide range of aspects that have to be done very well to successfully implement a new mine or expand an existing mine, not just all the technical things that relate to an engineering discipline that would relate to building a mine such as mine design, plant design and metallurgy," said Conger. "But then we have the social and political aspects of these operations that are of paramount importance in making a new or expanded mining operation.So, the more we can tie the success for our neighbors in surrounding communities — many times we are guests in other countries — to benifit and success to our operation, the more successful we are going to be. You don't just find the mines, you have to make them work."
To hear the full interview visit the SME Thought Leaders Podcast page.