As a large, global organisation BHP Billiton has the capacity to help grow local businesses and foster the long-term development of suppliers in our host communities. In Chile, we are successfully building new relationships with local suppliers through a program that seeks to create lasting business and technological capabilities and increase suppliers’ economic value.
The Cluster Program aims to develop 250 Chilean-based resource industry suppliers into ‘world-class’ global resource industry suppliers by 2020. We define world-class suppliers as those that sell more than 30 per cent of their product internationally, have standards equal to the industry leader and add a high level of value to their customers.
Specifically, the program engages local suppliers to develop innovative solutions to manage at least one aspect of mining identified as critical by our operations – such as water, energy, human capital, maintenance, air quality, acid mist control or leaching. Effectively managing each of these areas is essential to tackling the challenges of our operations.