Creating social value is key to our sustainable approach. We seek to contribute to social and economic development in the local communities in which we operate though proactive engagement based on trust, transparency, respect and acknowledgment of distinctiveness and diversity, and in collaboration with local organisations and authorities.


  • 64,000+ residents benefitting from management of water for human consumption (Coquimbo region).
  • 1,352 students benefitting from our education programmes.
  • 100% of homes are connected via fibre-optic cables in Sierra Gorda.
  • 7 localities where we work with indigenous communities (Peine, Socaire, Camar and Talabre in the Antofagasta region, and Illapel, Los Vilos and Salamanca in the Coquimbo region).
  • 19 active agreements signed with Indigenous Communities in the Choapa province.

At Antofagasta Minerals, we aim to contribute to social value creation in the regions where we operate mainly through education and training initiatives, job creation and social investment that addresses the needs of local communities. A commitment to respect human rights underpins all our interactions.

We develop our social programmes in partnership with local people, authorities and third-party experts in order to respond to the specific needs of local communities, which have different economic and social contexts.

Our social management strategy frames our dedication to fostering public-private partnerships and engaging in inclusive dialogues with communities as integral components of our enduring vision. We operate a multi-stakeholder platform to aggregate, prioritise and address issues raised and requirements specified by the communities to deliver proper initiatives accordingly.

We base our engagement on a Social Management Model with four components: engagement, initiative management, impact measurement and socio-territorial alert management. This framework is complemented by the 2022 update to our Human Rights Policy to strengthen our explicit commitment to respect the rights, culture and traditions of indigenous peoples, along with an approved Indigenous Peoples Engagement Standard.

This model is designed to ensure that our engagement principles, methodologies and practices are applied consistently across our operations. In this context, we create and boost strategic partnerships with expert organisations, foundations and universities for the implementation of programmes and projects, particularly through education and training initiatives, job creation and social investment.


Since 2018, and as part of our Impact Ecosystem, we have regularly measured the impact of our social programmes in our territories of operation in the Antofagasta region and Choapa province. For this, we use tools from the Theory of Change and the Social Return on Investment (SROI). At the Group level we have so far measured the impact of 18 initiatives and three relationship processes.

During 2023, we carried out impact evaluations for the APRoxima (water for human consumption in Choapa) and Los Pelambres scholarship programmes. In Antofagasta region, we measured the community relationship process, evaluating the Diálogos para el Desarrollo in the towns of María Elena and Sierra Gorda.

In all cases we identified a positive SROI, meaning that the social return on investment was greater than 1, qualifying interventions as successful. In addition, based on the results obtained from the Theory of Change and the SROI evaluation, improvement plans have been developed for each programme that will allow us to monitor and continuously improve the initiatives deployed in the territories examined.

In addition to impact measurement, we use the territorial human well-being matrix to identify the impact of the programmes on beneficiaries. The well-being matrix was developed by Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (Adolfo Ibáñez University) for application in areas such as education, housing and access to culture.

Los Pelambres served as our testbed and allowed us to examine how the inclusion of new infrastructure and improvements to the territories had generated positive impacts at the local level, addressing aspects such as accessibility, the environmental and socioeconomic context, connectivity and security. This matrix will be applied in the northern territories during 2024.

During 2023, Zaldívar presented an Environmental Impact Declaration (DIA) called “Mine Area Operational Adjustments” and an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the “Life of Mine Extension with Water Transition Project” to the Environmental Evaluation Service (SEA). Two Citizen Participation Processes (PAC) were conducted with the Atacama communities of Socaire, Camar, Talabre, Peine. As part of the process, we had an open house activity in the commune of San Pedro de Atacama. The Citizen Participation Process is being carried out by the SEA and the company accompanies this process.

Protecting our workers’ health and safety, and those of the communities located near our operations, is one of our core values and part of the Company’s strategy.

The Safety and Well-being Programme seeks to integrate a series of commitments, initiatives and responsibilities, addressing interactions, risks and community perceptions around the operation and facilities. This programme is implemented in different locations in the communities of our mining companies’ areas of influence, where we have made online information about air quality available for them. In Los Pelambres, as part of the Operational Continuity Plan that considers the maintenance and replacement of the Concentrate Transportation System, a road safety plan has been deployed with the purpose of minimising interference to community movements while the works are carried out. During 2023, the implementation of the New Standard for Tailing Management implied the development of a preventive emergency plan with the community of Sierra Gorda (influence area of Centinela), which became the first municipality in Chile to have a natural hazard emergency simulation.

Our relationship with the communities of the Salar de Atacama, in the Antofagasta region, applies the methodology of dialogue and participation established by ILO Convention 169 on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples. Based on this, in 2023 we signed social investment agreements with the communities in the Salar de Atacama (Peine, Socaire, Camar and Talabre), and these are currently being implemented.

We apply an Indigenous Peoples Engagement Standard to ensure that all of Antofagasta Minerals’ operations and projects consistently employ development processes and practices that fully respect the human rights of indigenous peoples.

In 2023, we strengthened the Los Pelambres community relations team with professionals experienced in indigenous community relations, in order to strengthen our commitment to respecting their identity, traditions and interests.

Los Pelambres has been working closely with indigenous communities to settle formal joint working agreements, primarily with the Chango people, but also with other communities in the Choapa Valley, belonging to the Diaguita and Mapuche peoples.

GHPPI at Los Pelambres (2023)

19 agreements in total

  • 10 signed
  • 4 in negotiation
  • 1 inactive
  • 2 without progress
  • 2 recently formed

Indigenous groups we are working with

  • Council of Elders Chango Caleta Las Conchas Los Vilos
  • Changos de Chungo Cultural Group with Indigenous Character
  • Chango Caleta de Chigualoco Council
  • Changos Family Councils, Los Vilos Sea and Land
  • Changos de La Cachina Organisation
  • Changos Islas Blancas Group
  • Changos Costa Vileña Community Union
  • Social and Cultural Community Changos Leiva Rojas and her descendants
  • Changos Fishermen’s Council
  • Puerto Canoa Indigenous Community

At Zaldívar, we are conducting joint work with communities around the Salar de Atacama within the EIA’s module for the project’s extension, which aims to replace our use of continental water and other sources away from the Salar by 2028.

At Antofagasta Minerals, we maintain an open communication channel for grievances raised by the communities close to our areas of operation, managed by the Public Affairs area. In 2023, we worked on an improvement plan for management of the Community Grievances Channel, its investigation process, governance, and external disclosure.

The mechanism was designed in line with the United Nations’ Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) and the ICMM’s Good Practice Guide for the Management and Resolution of Concerns and Complaints at the Local Level.

The channel was updated in 2022 for the reporting of concerns, complaints and grievances raised by our operations in neighbouring communities. Grievances can be presented confidentially and are monitored until a resolution is reached, usually within a 30-day period.

During 2023, we received 179 complaints through the channel.

Community members without internet access can submit their complaints by letter or in person to the operation in question or to the local community relations coordinator. Complaints are then entered into the complaints system to allow follow-up and progress monitoring

We operate a multi-stakeholder, open dialogue engagement approach, in order for local communities to participate in the selection of social investment projects through our programmes, Somos Choapa, in Coquimbo Region, and Diálogos para el Desarrollo, in Antofagasta Region.

Somos Choapa

Somos Choapa (We are Choapa) is a public-private strategic partnership between Los Pelambres and the Choapa province’s four municipal districts – Salamanca, Illapel, Canela and Los Vilos – through which we seek to contribute to the area’s sustainable development. The programme focuses on four main areas of social investment: water management, education and culture, economic development, and community infrastructure.


We foster education opportunities through scholarships and grants to cover the costs of education. As a contribution to Choapa province in 2023, we provided support for nearly 1,300 students to conduct their secondary school and higher education studies, 43% increase compared to 2022. CEDUC UCN Technical Training Centre opened in 2018, thanks to funding from Los Pelambres, and in 2023, 167 students, of which 40% were women, graduated as the third generation of professional from this institution.

2023 Coquimbo Region performance in education (main figures)

  • 564 Scholarships for higher education
  • 691 Beneficiaries of the School Access and Permanency programme
  • 185 Number of direct beneficiaries worked with in schools
  • 167 Number of graduates from the CEDUC UCN Technical Training Centre

Boosting Local Economic Development

The Comprehensive Support for Agriculture (Apoyo Integral a la Agricultura (AIA) programme, launched in the municipality of Salamanca in 2014, contributed to the financing of 504 agricultural input projects and works for efficient use of available irrigation water (accumulation and distribution) in 2023.

The Agricultural Strengthening Programme (Programa de Fortalecimiento Agrícola (PFA) has been focused on water efficiency (technology-based irrigation, photovoltaic drive and intra-farm dams) and the Cooperativa Tres Ríos production chain. The initiative has made possible the modernisation of more than 145 hectares, the damming of over 75 m3 of water.

Los Pelambres runs the Cosecha and Emprende local economic development programmes, to improve the productive conditions of small-scale entrepreneurs and rural producers, helping to reduce gaps in relation to the quality of products and services, and highlighting the productive vocation of the territory.

The initiatives provide financial and training support to improve business management, and in doing so, we have created partnerships with regional universities, public services and the four local governments for the implementation of these programmes.

674 micro and small businesses beneffited by the Cosecha and Emprende programmes in 2023.

Community Infrastructure

Infrastructure Delivered in 2023

  • Inauguration of the Los Vilos stadium.
  • Financial contribution to set up the Chillepín Family Health Centre (Cesfam), a development covering an area of 1,450 m2 that will meet the needs of approximately 6,700 residents from surrounding towns.
  • Commencement of work at the Zapallar sewage works and the Lord Willow and Uno Sur steps down to the seafront in Los Vilos.
  • Bid to construct a shade structure at Abastos square in Illapel. • Purchase of land for the Quilimarí Cesfam.
  • Inauguration of the Conservation and Research Centre at the Archaeological Museum of La Serena. The project includes a building covering 450 m2 to contain quarantine, preservation and conservation areas, laboratories, a warehouse, toilet facilities, a research office, and a residential complex for receiving research interns. The new facilities will protect the 1,462 boxes of archaeological material recovered from the El Mauro sector, which remain under the custody and administration of the heritage site.

Diálogos para el Desarrollo

An important component of our community relations in the Antofagasta Region involves working with regional authorities and organisations, such as trade associations to promote economic growth and social well-being in the region as a whole.

Diálogos para el Desarrollo (Dialogues for Development) is the engagement framework to work with the communities and local authorities of María Elena, Sierra Gorda and Michilla, the neighbours’ communities of Antucoya and Centinela, respectively, and other strategic partners to foster local peoples’ social and economic quality of life. Community members actively participate in the selection of initiatives to develop jointly between companies and neighbours, as well as in working groups to oversee their implementation.

In 2023, Centinela, in conjunction with Michilla community, began to implement three projects on health, local economy, culture and identity selected by the neighbours.

In the town of María Elena, in 2023, Diálogos para el Desarrollo ran for the fourth year and addressed five action areas: education; healthcare; urban security; local economy; and culture, heritage and identity. Supported by Antucoya and Fundación Emprende2, the programme invites the community to present projects that will directly benefit the local community.

Supporting the Pan American and Parapan American Games

In line with our values and the promotion of community participation in sports activities, we were proud sponsors of the Pan American and Parapan American Games, which were held for the first time in Chile. This is one of the largest multidisciplinary international sporting events in which athletes from all over the Americas participate, second only to the Olympic Games.

In an initiative to bring mining closer to the people, we transported a mining haul truck to Santiago for display outside the National Stadium. The vehicle can carry up to 220 tonnes, equivalent to two Boeing airliners with 140 passengers. The Group has around 190 haul trucks in operation, each with the capacity to transport between 220 and 360 tonnes. We supplied 3,000 medals, each with a solid core of copper from our mining sites, representing this key element of our Chilean identity. The medals were unveiled at Centinela last August.

As a sponsor of the Pan American and Parapan American Games, Antofagasta Minerals was given the opportunity to bring the flame to Antucoya and its neighbouring community of María Elena, in the Antofagasta region, as well as to Los Pelambres and the town of Salamanca in the Coquimbo region. These activities became a milestone in the localities and in our companies.

Los Pelambres donated more than 150 native trees from Choapa province for planting in the Panamerican Neighbourhood, which, following the end of the Games, is being transformed into a residential area.

In line with our Climate Change Strategy and our Water Policy, we support our neighbouring communities in adjusting to climate change through water stewardship. Water has become critical not only from an operational perspective but also in terms of its key social value.

At Antofagasta, we understand that water has both operational and social value. In 2023, as part of the Somos Choapa programme, we further expanded our efforts through our APRoxima and Confluye programmes, to ensure continuous availability of water for human consumption and irrigation in the severely drought-hit Choapa province. Managed by Los Pelambres and its Foundation, APRoxima contributes to the development of rural drinking water systems, directly benefiting around 16,000 people.

Confluye looks to promote projects with the Water Users’ Boards of towns and public services in Choapa. This initiative aims to improve agricultural irrigation and water security for farmers in partnership with the government’s economic development agency, CORFO; its agricultural development institute, INDAP; the National Irrigation Commission; and the Water Users’ Boards of the Choapa, Chalinga and Illapel Rivers. The programme, since 2010, has supported the improvement of 120 km of irrigation canals that ensure the availability of over 226,000 m3 of water to irrigate 524 productive hectares, benefiting over 4,300 farmers.

In the Antofagasta region, we work alongside communities to improve systems of rural sanitation in Calama Poniente, Socaire and Michilla through partnerships concerned with the regulation and promotion of technology for the administrative management of Water Committees. Of particular note has been the work conducted with rural sanitary service providers in Socaire and Verdes Campiñas (Calama Poniente) on the implementation of software to maintain an up-to-date record of service user data.


Read more about Communities in our Sustainability Report 2023