Samarco CEO Rodrigo Vilela was the guest speaker at C-Hour, a moment of interaction and sharing of lessons learned among miners, startups, suppliers, Mining Hub participants and other audiences. In his talk, on Wednesday (24), Vilela recalled that Samarco’s innovative spirit has been evident since its creation in 1977.
At the beginning of its operations, the company faced challenges such as enriching the ore, a poor itabirite considered as waste at the time, and shipping its production without using a railroad. To overcome these challenges, it was necessary to believe in innovative processes, such as the use of grinding and flotation to increase iron concentration, and in new solutions, such as pumping this product through a pipeline capable of reaching Ponta de Ubu, in Espirito Santo, for pelletizing.
For Vilela, the safety value depends, among other factors, on strengthening the risk management culture. “At Samarco, striving for excellence in risk management is rooted in processes with the support of senior management. This is an extremely serious and technical matter, that requires the involvement of trained professionals. This should be a priority not only for the mining sector, but for all types of businesses, ” he emphasizes.
During the event he stressed the importance of sharing ideas, solutions and learning through partner networks as occurs at the Mining Hub. Another example of this is the results obtained so far by the MinerALL Challenge, created in partnership between Samarco and accelerator Neo Ventures with the support of institutions such as the Federal University of Ouro Preto (UFOP), the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), INCT MIDAS National Institute of Science and Technology; and the Center for Development of Nuclear Technology (CDTN).
Vilela stressed that innovation has been of fundamental importance to enable the resumption of operations without the use of tailings dams and called attention to the urgent need for a change in mindset by all those involved with mining activity. “If we don’t do things differently, we should get out of this business,” he stated.
Samarco has been part of Mining Hub since its inception. Created to serve as a direct channel for promoting open innovation, social projects, industry trends and relationships between mining companies, startups and suppliers, Mining Hub was launched in January 2019 and is based in Belo Horizonte. Visit the site and learn more: www.mininghub.com.br