In a long-awaited episode, Joe and Emily sit down with Rodolfo Micone and Ines Ulla, the Secretary and Undersecretary of Mining of Catamarca Argentina.

The guests start with their origins stories and then discuss the challenges that Catamarca faces as a young player with a short history of mining. Secretary Micone shares common mistakes made by mining companies, and how to use the government as a valuable resource to understand communities and local needs. Joe asks the provincial authorities about the infrastructure challenges that are faced, and Rodolfo provides context that many of these investments and decisions rest in the hands of the federal government.

Rodolfo and Ines share how the aspects of politics, technical concerns, community relations, and promotion are inextricably linked.

One of Argentina’s big decisions in the future is to firmly articulate that they are a pro-mining country.

Joe shares an anecdote of a conversation with a coffee shop owner regarding the environmental reputation of mining, and Rodolfo doesn’t mince his words in explaining that mining is an engine of development and the mother of all industries – and that while being anti-mining may be a modern “badge of honor,” those with concerns are picking and choosing what information to listen to and living a comfy life with modern amenities like heat, water, and infrastructure that come from mining. He calls attention to the hypocrisy of people like this coffee shop owner who go out to rural sites near mines for a vacation and Instagram shot and return to their cozy lives a few days later.

Ines shares her 8 year experience in the Mining Authority, starting out as a technical assistant to her current role as the Under Secretary, and seeing the impact mining has had on communities located near mining projects, as well as frustrations with factors outside the province’s control that can delay and slow down development

In the live studio audience Carlos Arauz, a radio journalist from Catamarca, shares a story of finding Joe Lowry in the city after seeing his photos on twitter, highlighting the magic of social media.

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