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While Spain designed their plans for the economic revival, the industries of the sector of mineral raw materials have taken a step forward with the launch of Primigea , a confederation which brings together employers from the metallurgy (Confedem) and the extractive industries of minerals and rocks (Cominroc). “We represent 3.750 companies with a business volume of 26.600 million euros”, recalls its president Javier Targhetta, who is also CEO of Atlantic Copper. One of the main challenges of Primigea is “ develop a Spanish strategy on raw materials , as already done by the EU in 2008, as countries with a cutting-edge industry such as Germany, Sweden and Finland”, he asserts.
what is The main objective of Primigea is that there is a national strategy for the sector?
We’ve come together because it makes sense to join together in efforts to claim the advantages and benefits of the extractive activities and mining and transformative for the development of the economy and Spanish society. We have much to contribute to the growth of our country long-term and short-term, will help you to get out faster of the crisis arising from the pandemic. We are a european power, the second largest producer of copper in Europe after Poland, and yet we lack a strategic plan, in line with the EU and the rest of the major industrial countries of our surroundings, that help us to raise our potential. It is important that we coordinate efforts because the opportunities are amazing; the development of renewables, the electrification of the economy, digitization and the growth of emerging countries will require metals and raw materials we can extract, treat and market from Spain.
Spain itself has made plans in automotive, aeronautics or renewable… why is lacks a plan in mining and raw materials?
We are a sector that has never been told what you are doing. This has meant that mining has been highly stigmatized because it is associated with a segment of very particular, as is coal, with a great impact in the media and that in Spain has been especially hard and has generated a picture associated with the drama, the decadence and the loss of employment. Today in the Strip Pirítica of Seville and Huelva are the most innovative companies in the sector, with companies such as Matsa, Cobre Las Cruces and Atalaya, which make an intensive use of digital technologies and have been pioneers in the processes of research and treatment of ore, with a respect for the environment as a global reference.
Returns to be interest investor in tungsten in Salamanca, in addition to lithium or tin in the other provinces. Does the regulatory framework is adequate?
The investor would require a streamlining in the permitting process, and a certain standardization in the regulation of the 17 communities, whose differences do not favour the development of projects. Some regional governments, such as the Andalusian, are making an effort very relevant to streamline processes. Mining creates wealth in what today is called Spain emptied, because the farms are in remote areas, which contribute to the social balance of Spain. This requires an effort of the whole.
How is the competitiveness of Spain in relation to other mining countries for the attraction of international investment?
I would Say that is average, which means that we need to improve, because our obligation should be to be in the first positions of the ranking. Spain traditionally is an open economy to foreign investment, and in the case of mining you must take a leap forward with the streamlining and simplification of procedures. Spain may not be a theme park, the industry is essential, you need to industrial development and in this sector there will be great opportunities. The countries considered to be of services, such as the Netherlands and Switzerland, based on a very relevant part of their development in a industrial GDP that exceeds the 20%, while in Spain it stood at 13%. This all adds up, a primary sector and a secondary powerful serve to strengthen the tertiary sector.
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