Sierra Gorda SCM, a joint venture between Sumitomo Metal Mining, Sumitomo Corp. and Poland-based KGHM, began operations in 2014 and currently produces an average of 500,000 pounds of payable copper a day destined both for the Japanese and the world’s other markets.
Located in the northern Antofagasta region, the mine also produces molybdenum and gold for the global market. In spite of the many challenges related to the extended slump in the global mining industry, the company is working hard to surmount the obstacles and looks with hope and optimism to the future.
“Growth has been pretty rapid. We’ve completed our phase one construction and we’ve been in the process of upgrading and applying the kaizen process in our operations,” said General Manager Robert Wunder, an industry veteran with more than 40 years of experience.
“Sumitomo have been very good partners and have contributed their valuable knowledge and development expertise to the project. They have a number of people here on site who work side by side with their Chilean colleagues and understand the Chilean culture very well,” Wunder added.
Whether it is copper, molybdenum or gold, Sierra Gorda understands that demand for metals goes through different cycles and adjusts its cost efficiency efforts accordingly.
“We believe that getting the Sierra Gorda operation in optimum condition will place us in excellent position to move forward and make good returns for the owners,” Wunder said.