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Atlantic Copper Unveils Visitor Centre, Susana Díaz Cuts Ribbon

The president of the Andalusia Council toured the new facility, which illustrates the importance of copper and the strong ties between the province of Huelva and metallurgy

Huelva, 14 January 2016. The president of the Andalusia Council, Susana Díaz, visited Atlantic Copper’s metallurgical complex in Huelva today to open the new Atlantic Copper Visitor Centre, a facility designed to show society the important role copper plays in our daily lives and the close ties that have bound metallurgy to Huelva for thousands of years.

Also present at this event were Mayor Gabriel Cruz of Huelva; the Andalusia Council’s regional minister for Labour, Enterprise and Trade, José Sánchez Maldonado; the deputy government representative in Huelva, Enrique Pérez Vigueras; the government representative for the Andalusia Council in Huelva, Francisco José Romero Rico; plus other authorities and representatives of Huelva business associations and social organisations, accompanied by Atlantic Copper’s CEO, Javier Targhetta, the company’s general manager for Metallurgy, Miguel Palacios, and other company executives.

The visit started out with a tour of Atlantic Copper’s facilities, where President Díaz inspected a number of areas of the smelter and the refinery and struck up conversations with some of the employees working in the metallurgical complex. Later the group moved on to Atlantic Copper’s general offices, where Susana Díaz and the company CEO unveiled a commemorative plaque at the front door.

Next, the group went to the Visitor Centre, a facility where a collection of objects and a wide variety of graphics and audiovisual displays help people discover copper’s importance in daily life, the history of copper and its close ties to the province of Huelva, the many uses and applications of copper and the social value of copper in a wide range of fields, including health, transport, new technologies and communications, building, homes, design and architecture.

The Visitor Centre is divided into four blocks. One deals with the history of metallurgy and the big role copper has played in the various stages of human history. Another walks through the copper production process at Atlantic Copper. The third looks at the uses and characteristics of copper. The fourth addresses the social value of copper, copper’s influence on sustainable development and the big activities of the Atlantic Copper Foundation, whose goals include promoting copper. Soon the centre will be opened to different groups such as school groups, university groups, neighbourhood associations, business associations and professional organisations.

To wind up the ceremony, the president of the Andalusia Council signed the company visitor’s book. Speaking after events were over, she said, “It’s nice to see how Atlantic Copper really is committed to Huelva. You can see it in the fact that it’s got its offices and its production centre here. This province needs to build its industrial muscle back up, and I’m convinced that 2016 will be a good year for Andalusia and for Huelva, because this land has the resources it takes to be competitive, and what’s more, it’s got the Council’s support. Our wealth must take the form of new jobs and wellbeing, but not at any price. That’s why we want to provide legal certainty and cut back on red tape, so as to favour investment. It’s clear to us, on this horizon, that the best is yet to come, thanks to the fact that businesses are committed to innovation, sustainability and environmental friendliness, like Atlantic Copper is.”

Atlantic Copper CEO Javier Targhetta seized the opportunity to thank President Díaz for accepting the company’s invitation to open the new Visitor Centre. On the subject of the centre, he confided, “We’re very proud, because it highlights what copper means industrially and socially. It’s a symbol of Huelva’s past, present and future and its contribution to the province’s jobs, wealth and social wellbeing.” Furthermore, he asserted, “At Atlantic Copper we’ve managed to keep being competitive despite the high energy costs we have here in Spain, and I hope our country soon attains the kind of political stability that Andalusia already has.”

Lastly, Mayor Gabriel Cruz of Huelva congratulated “Atlantic Copper and its foundation for their work teaching people about copper and the processes by which it is produced and for bringing the copper story home to Huelva society. Huelva is proud of our ties to the mining world, because it forms part of our daily life, and it’s important to be able to communicate that message properly. We’re all witnesses to the work this company’s doing in the quest for competitiveness and social and economic progress and its work in the field of CSR.”

About Atlantic Copper

Atlantic Copper is a Huelva subsidiary of the US group Freeport-McMoRan. Atlantic Copper is the third-largest copper smelter and refinery in Europe, and it is Spain’s domestic copper production leader, with the capacity to produce 300,000 tons a year from a million tons of copper concentrate shipped in from different parts of the world. Atlantic Copper is the second-biggest company headquartered in Andalusia in terms of turnover and is number one in the province of Huelva. It remains at the top of the community’s export list, since something over half its sales take place on the international market. Atlantic Copper provides over 1,000 direct jobs, while the total number of jobs it is responsible for (the sum of direct, indirect and induced employment) is estimated at over 2,500. The company contributes an annual average of €150 million to the Andalusian economy, close to 45% of which takes the form of wages, while the rest goes to purchases, including ancillary services, energy, materials and other items.

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