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We had the chance to talk with Eugenio Ferrari, President of the Organizing Committee and mining executive with an extensive carrier in mineral exploration, about this biannual event. He explained the most relevant aspects of this congress that, since the first edition done ten years ago, continues to consolidate its position as the most important mining exploration meeting in the region.

What are the objectives of proEXPLO 2017?

The 10th International Congress of Prospectors and Explorers, proEXPLO 2017, aims to highlight the critical importance of mining exploration for the mining industry and its key role in the sustainability of Peru as one of the main mining producers in the world. Under the slogan "Mineral Exploration: Core of the Mining Industry", it is intended to strengthen mining exploration as the starting point for mining ventures, and probably the stage of highest value generation in the chain of value in this industry.

Since the first edition in 1997, proEXPLO has grown significantly. During the last edition in 2015, besides the downturn of the market and the low metal prices, it congregates over 1,100 participants.

We have a challenge for 2017, which consists in exceeding that number. In order to do this, we have prepared an updated technical program according to the reality of mineral exploration in the region, addressing not only technical aspects but social and environmental challenges, successful cases study and the presentation of new technologies for identifying deeper or hidden deposits.

While the challenge is ambitious, we feel confident that this event will be a success thanks to the participation of prominent professionals and members of the Organizing Committee and Advisory Committee, since we will address all specialties of the mining exploration field.

Which is the thematic organization of this meeting?

We have considered a program strongly focused in the mining exploration business. Sessions will address regional subjects as regional metallogenic and geology and exploration of the most important base metal, precious metal and non-metallic mines in Peru. In addition, we will have a special session dedicated on the new discoveries in Latin America, allowing to know the exploration process and development of the most recent findings in the region. On the other hand, we will discuss the features of advanced mining projects, which is a crucial challenge for the next Peruvian producers.

Other areas of interest include geophysics, geochemistry, new technologies applied to mineral exploration and valuation of mining projects.

Top Mining Exploration’s meeting will have a separate chapter and, as in previous years, will be focused on corporate case study, finances and capital market in the business of mining exploration.

Finally, a number of subjects related to social responsibility and community relations in exploration projects have been included, and we will also have a debate on environmental permits and environmental regulatory framework in Peru (a topic that has become one of the key factors of the decline of exploration investments in Peru), and varied lectures by renowned international specialists.

Who will be the main speakers?

We have confirmed the participation of leading speakers, both for the keynote lectures and technical talks on exploration and applied research works, such as Lluís Fontbote (SEG), Neil Pendock (GeoSpectral Imaging Pty.), Daniel Moncada (SGA), Richard Tosdal (Consulting Geologist), Phillip Goodell (UTEP), Guillermo Re Khull (Alto Americas), Jean Legault (Geotech Ltd.) and Ana Fonseca (SRK), among other professionals.

As in previous editions, INGEMMET will participate presenting many research and technical works on mineral exploration. As well as other world-renowned institutions and companies, such as Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME), Osisko Mining, Barrick, SRK, B2Gold, Milpo, Solgold, among others.

What can you tell us about the technical works?

We have received an important number of papers, which are in the evaluation and prioritization phase since they exceed the number of presentations considered for the program. The response obtained in this opportunity has been excellent. We have exceeded the number of technical works submitted in many previous editions.

Specifically, the subjects addressed in these extended abstract are: tectonic evolution and metallogeny of Peru, geology and exploration of copper deposits, geology and exploration of polymetallic deposits, geology and exploration of gold/silver deposits and new discoveries in Latin America. Also, advanced mining projects, geophysics and geochemistry, technology applied to mineral exploration, valuation of mining projects, social responsibility and community relations in mineral exploration, environmental permits and a special session on geological services.

What short courses will be offered?

In order to provide an opportunity to update knowledge on subjects of current interest, we have organized short courses of interest for the professionals of the different areas. Short courses will include "Structural Geology and Alterations" (Ana Fonseca, SRK), "SEG Mapping Course" (William Chavez, SEG), "Entrepreneurial Geoscience" (Philip Goodell, UTEP), "Geophysics in Mineral Exploration" (Arce, Barrett, Legault and Noriega), "Remote Sensing: from Regional Mapping to Direct Detection to Mining Optimization, Four Decades of Discoveries" (Neil Pendock, GeoSpectral Imaging Pty), "Fluid Inclusions: Fundamentals and Application in Mineral Exploration" (Daniel Moncada and Claudia Cannatelli, SGA), "Geological Logging of Copper Porphyry" (Armando Plazolles), and "Geology for Non-Geologists" (Ivan Santos, UNI).

What can you tell us about field visits?

The proEXPLO 2017 participants interested in visiting some of the most important deposits in Peru, may pick some of the following: the world-class VMS Cerro Lindo Mine (Milpo), La Arena (Tahoe Resources), the main porphyry copper deposits in Southern Peru (lead by Richard Tosdal), and other important deposits in Central Peru like Tocomocho (Chinalco) and Shalipayco (Milpo).

With these technical visits, and others we are coordinating, we hope to cover the main deposits of Peru and give participants the opportunity to witness, in situ, the mining wealth of our country.

To complement this point, I would like to mention that we have recently reached an agreement with Porter GeoConsultancy, an Australian consulting company which is organizing the Andean Porphyries 2017 tour to be carried out before and after of ProEXPLO 2017. Participants could have significant discounts if they want to participate in the field visit organized by Porter GeoConsultancy.

What is your message for all professionals interested in participating in proEXPLO 2017?

While we are going through one of the most critical moments in mineral exploration at global level, we are convinced that during this year and the following, this situation will change and a gradual recovery will take place in terms of investments, metal prices, and exploration activities.

This will be better understood during the event, not only through the media, but also by interacting with the leaders of mining exploration companies, consulting and service firms, and mining exploration specialists. This is the reason why proEXPLO 2017 is a great opportunity that must be capitalized by all of us, as part of the mining industry and, specially, of the mineral exploration business.

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