We say that we are an Australian copper company in Brazil. For us this means that we operate a Brazilian model, which is complemented with Australian mining know-how.
CEO Tony Polglase is known for saying “Brazil is not for amateurs”. He knows this all too well as a fluent Portuguese speaker and Brazilian resident. What he means in fact is that to be successful in Brazil, it is important to be in Brazil and operate with a local and Brazilian model. We do not believe that a mining operation in the north of Brazil, or indeed anywhere in Latin America, can be run from in an office in a city in any other hemisphere: it just does not work.
Whilst our Board is a balance of Brazilians and Australians (of whom more than two thirds speak Portuguese), at an operational level more than 99% of our employees and contractors are Brazilian and 100% live locally.
Antas for example, is located half-an-hour by road from Parauapebas, an established mining town with a population of over 150,000. This means that we benefit from a skilled and experienced local work force that commute to work, avoiding the stresses and costs of fly-in-fly-out operations. Importantly, it means that we operate as locals, think as Brazilians and that we are sensitive to how Brazilian society works.