Feb. 21, 2022


Carlos Silva

Mexico

Carlos Silva

CEO, Santa Cruz Silver Mining

As the first mining company in Mexico to gain IRMA certification, Santa Cruz takes sustainability and responsible mining extremely seriously in all its operations.

BIO

Carlos Silva Ramos studied Mining Engineering in the University of Guanajuato and received a Master's in Finance from ITESM. He founded Carrizal Mining in 2009 and is now CEO of Santacruz Silver, after completing a successful merger in 2019. Santacruz Silver operates in Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí.


Why did you decide to acquire a mine in Bolivia and expand your activities in Latin America?

The objective is to take advantage of opportunities. Since 2020, we have been evaluating different possibilities. Glencore proposed the sale of its assets in Bolivia, and we acquired them. We have acquired six mines in total, and this way, we no longer have all our eggs in one basket. We are also giving our investors more options other than Mexico. We have been working on this deal for eight months, and the final agreement has been signed. We are taking the final steps in the stock market to have our shares released.

What opportunities do you see for expansion in Latin America?

There are other interesting places in Latin America. For example, there are many opportunities in Ecuador. We are receiving expressions of interest from miners in Ecuador for us to participate in the sector. They are interested in us helping them develop the sector and want to bring a model similar to ours to Ecuador. However, right now Bolivia is our priority. This year will be complicated, but perhaps next year we could consider a possible visit to Ecuador.

How do you continue to incorporate corporate social responsibility in your activities?

We want to analyze the amount of progress we have made to have another audit and see if we can further improve our rating. It is important that we continue to make progress in this area. It is an issue that many companies, including Santa Cruz, want to overcome. We need to have better ratings to stand out from our competitors. This is an area that we need to work harder on and achieve more. We are already qualified with the Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (IRMA), which demonstrates that we do responsible mining. Our goal intention to improve our rating level in IRMA. Another issue that is important to us is our complaints system and transparency. I receive complaints from the company directly on my cellphone. We have 750 employees in the company, and anyone can make a complaint directly to me. It is important to respond immediately to employee complaints as well as complaints related to the company. These complaints help us rectify mistakes immediately. In the town of Zimapan, we have a great relationship with the community and have helped the community significantly. My goal is to create a structure that can address all the problems and complaints from the community, even if I am not there. In this way, the company's social standing will not decline if I am not there. Right now, almost everything depends on me, and the goal is to promote leadership within the company so that it will have a system that can respond to the needs of the community. In this way, the communities will also see that we operate as a company and not everything depends on the actions I take.

What are your goals for next year?

The main thing is the acquisition in Bolivia. The first thing is to bring an end to Glencore's management of the mine and instill our own values to the workers. We will not fire or change the employees. The company is producing positive results; there is no reason to change them. The company has already done a great deal of work with the communities and the government, and some 95% of the staff are Bolivian, which is great. Our intentions are to continue working with local entities; we do not want to bring in outside workers. We want to implement the socioeconomic performance model with our own approach in Santa Cruz. We focus on social and economic issues. My goal is to get Bolivia to certify its operations as well.

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