20 Alumni from a range of EIT RawMaterials activities travelled to Huelva for an intensive two days of problem solving

Before the event, participants were introduced to a real-life business problem from Atlantic Copper related to the valorization of secondary products from the copper cathode process. After arriving in Huelva and getting to know each other with some fun ice breaker activities, it was time to get started. The aim of the event was to come up with solutions that were not only technically sound and economically viable, but also presented as a marketable product – a real challenge!

It all kicked off with a visit to the Atlantic Copper plant and its Copper Interpretation Centre, as well as a session with Sol Villar, Senior Vice President of Organization & Human Resources. This not only gave an insight into the technical process and everyday workings of the plant, but also an overview of the company’s structure and talent management.

Getting to know Atlantic Copper with Sol Villar, Senior Vice President of Organization & Human Resources

The rest of the time was spent at the Universidad Internacional de Andalucia working in small, interdisciplinary teams to develop solutions, with Irene Ruiz (Research and Development Manager) and Guillermo Ríos (Technology Director) from Atlantic Copper on hand to answer questions. In the evenings, participants also enjoyed a trip to the UNESCO protected nature reserve Marismas del Odiel and a dinner in Huelva city centre.

Teamwork sessions were alternated with presentations from experts to give participants further tools to tackle the challenge. The Alumni heard about problem solving methodologies, presentation techniques and team roles and responsibilities as well as the market considerations for the elements in question. These sessions were led by Laurence Lamm, Senior Advisor for Processing at EIT RawMaterials, Hans Westerhof, Business Coach and Programme Manager at Climate-KIC, Lorena Jurado, Business Developer at EIT RawMaterials and César Jiménez, a trader specializing in base metals from Cometal S.A.

The winners – Team Rainbow

The event concluded with a pitching competition, where teams were assessed on both technical criteria and business viability. All of the teams presented incredibly impressive work for such a short time and the expert jury found it difficult to choose one winner! But of course, there had to be one, and Team Rainbow were surprised to be awarded with a prize of 100 euros each. Overall, the event was a great start for EIT RawMaterials Alumni and we are already looking forward to next year’s edition!

Check out the coverage of the event on the Atlantic Copper website and the local Huelva news! (in Spanish):

What is EIT RawMaterials Alumni?

Summer 2018 marked the founding of EIT RawMaterials Alumni. This organisation ensures that participants in the many and varied EIT RawMaterials activities, such as business idea competitions, start-ups, short courses and Master’s and PhD programmes, can continue to benefit from the community’s network after their involvement. It aims to conduct activities that meet the professional development needs of its members, while providing a platform for members to stay in contact with each other.

Who are Atlantic Copper?

Atlantic Copper is a Spanish company whose sole shareholder is the US global conglomerate Freeport-McMoRan, one of the leading natural resource companies in the United States. Freeport-McMoRan is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: FCX). It is the world’s second-biggest producer of copper and number-one producer of molybdenum and a significant producer of cobalt and gold.

Atlantic Copper’s main business is to produce high-grade refined copper from ore mined in various parts of the world. The extraordinary qualities of copper make it indispensable for the sustainable development of society. More than a million tons of ore are processed at the Huelva plant, to produce close to 300,000 metric tons of refined copper annually. Other industrial products are also produced, such as sulphuric acid, precious metals and iron silicate. Atlantic Copper directly and indirectly employs over 1,000 people and is a Core Partner of EIT RawMaterials.

Please contact alumni@eitrawmaterials.eu if you have any questions.

Make sure to join the EIT RawMaterials Alumni Facebook and LinkedIn groups to stay up-to-date with the latest news and events.