Antofagasta’s purpose is to develop mining for a better future – to achieve this and continue to deliver sustainably, we rely on the support of a range of different stakeholders. This means always putting the safety of our people first as we seek to deliver value to our customers, suppliers, shareholders and the communities in which we operate.
Open and transparent engagement with our stakeholders is essential for the long-term success of our business. Engagement is based on mechanisms through which we provide information about our activities and learn about our stakeholders’ interests and concerns.
The Group has a workforce of approximately 25,100 people (direct employees and contractors’ employees), including our operations, projects, exploration programmes and corporate offices. Almost all of our workforce is based in Chile and 51% is from communities near our operations. Contractors account for approximately 74% of the workforce at our operations.
Constructive relationships anchored in mutual respect and transparency help us to retain employees and avoid labour disputes, making for higher productivity and efficiency. Contractors are essential to mining operations and operational continuity requires that they adhere to the same standards as those expected of Antofagasta’s own employees, particularly regarding safety and health.
Our operations’ neighbours include a range of communities in Chile’s Antofagasta and Coquimbo Regions. We seek to grow together with our communities and to contribute to their long-term social and economic development. Our operations naturally affect local communities and we strive to prevent, mitigate and compensate for any adverse impact our activities may have.
The wellbeing of local communities is directly related to our business success and we believe that mining activities bring unique opportunities for national and local development.
Engagement is one of the four pillars of our Social Management Model and much of it takes place through our flagship programmes: Somos Choapa (We are Choapa) in the Coquimbo Region and Diálogos para el Desarrollo (Dialogues for Development) in the Antofagasta Region. These programmes include mutual collaboration on the design of initiatives to foster local development, as well as other channels of contact such as mine site visits. Engagement with local communities is regularly reported to the Sustainability and Stakeholder Management Committee and to the Board.
We work with some 3,850 suppliers, of which 93% are based in Chile. Suppliers provide a wide range of products and services from large mining equipment to catering and transport services.
Suppliers play a critical role in our ability to operate sustainably, safely and efficiently and therefore we seek to ensure that they comply with our standards and guidelines on sustainability matters. We prioritise the use of local suppliers and pay special attention to our largest suppliers in each category to ensure the most cost-effective, efficient and sustainable solutions.
The procurement team regularly meets with suppliers who are encouraged to raise any issues or concerns they may have. Tenders take place through an online platform, designed to guarantee fair and transparent processes, and in 2019 we developed software to automate the issue of invitations to tender, significantly extending our reach and particularly benefiting potential local suppliers.
The majority of our sales are to industrial customers, who refine or further process the copper concentrate and cathodes we sell. Most sales are made under long-term framework agreements or annual contracts with sales volumes agreed for the following year.
Our sales are based primarily on long-term customer relationships and commitments. Without these relationships, we would have to sell a greater proportion of our cathodes and concentrate on the spot market, with greater uncertainty about pricing and volume.
Shareholders are the companies, financial institutions and individuals that hold a stake in the Company. They are entitled to receive dividends and to vote at shareholder meetings on certain matters, including the election of the Company’s Directors.
Shareholders, and particularly institutional investors, are constantly evaluating their holdings in the Company and whether to buy, hold or sell shares. We provide insightful information about the Company’s strategy, projects and performance to assist them in their assessment of the Company. We pay special attention to how we communicate with shareholders, maintaining fluent and transparent dialogue with them in order to ensure that they are treated well and informed of all relevant information.
We regularly meet with institutional investors and brokers’ analysts at industry conferences and roadshows, as well as in one-on-one meetings. The Board attends the Company’s Annual General Meeting, where its members are available to answer questions. The Company also provides regular production reports, financial reports and other ad-hoc information.
Governments and regulators
Governments and regulators, at national, regional and local levels, draft, implement and uphold legislation, rules and regulations, and set the framework within which we operate.
Mining is a long-term business in which timescales can run into decades. Political cycles are typically far shorter and material developments and changes to policy, legislation or regulations can have a major impact on our business.
We work alongside mining associations and other industry-related bodies to engage with governments on public policy, legislation, regulations and procedures that may affect our business. Our relationship with governments and regulators takes place strictly within their engagement mechanisms, which in Chile are clearly defined in Law N° 20.730 on lobbying.