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Herbert Wirth awarded with the Order of Bernardo O’Higgins of Chile

Thursday, 06 November, 2014

Order of Bernardo O’Higgins is awarded by the President of the Republic of Chile for achievements in the field of arts, sciences, education, industry, trade, humanitarian and social cooperation. It is the highest civilian honour granted to non-Chilean citizens. It was established in 1965 to commemorate Chile’s leader of the struggle for independence and one of the state’s founding fathers, Bernardo O’Higgins.

Herbert Wirth, honoured with the Order, underlined that his award serves as a recognition for the work of all, thanks to whom Polish-Chilean relations today are the closest in the history. -When we started our involvement in the Chilean mining projects, both countries – Poland and Chile – seemed very distant from each other. Less than three years later, the Chilean market is one of the natural directions of development and investment for the Polish entrepreneurs. In our eyes, economic, cultural, social and most importantly personal relationships are being strengthened. I believe that we will make a good use of the enormous potential these relationships create for both our countries- said during the ceremony Herbert Wirth, President and CEO of KGHM.

The decoration ceremony was accompanied by giving the name of Ignacy Domeyko – Polish eminent geologist and mining engineer – to one of the rooms at the Embassy of Chile in Warsaw. On this occasion, the Embassy hung a plaque made of copper mined in KGHM’s Chilean mine of Sierra Gorda. The mine, which is also named after Ignacy Domeyko, was officially inaugurated on October 1, 2014 in the presence President of Chile, Michelle Bachelet.

In his speech, Ambassador of Chile in Poland, Alfredo Garcia Castelblanco, recalled how during the recent opening of the mine, President Bachelet poignantly praised the Sierra Gorda project. -The Chilean investment of KGHM is a great achievement in terms of equipment and technological advancement, as well as an example of unconditional respect for employees participating in the operation, a continuous dialogue with local communities and responsible treatment of the environment. This investment is a fundamental, even a Copernican step in the deepening of mutual ties between our countries. The benefits of this huge undertaking, both for Chile and for Poland, are numerous, far-reaching and highly positive - said Ambassador Alfredo Garcia Castelblanco.

KGHM is actively working to strengthen relations between Poland and Chile, as evidenced in July of 2014 by the Polish-Chilean Investment Seminar. The company also promotes the memory of Ignacy Domeyko. September this year marked the opening of an exhibition devoted to Ignacy Domeyko in the Warsaw Stock Exchange hall. KGHM’s foundation, Polska Miedź, is involved in the initiative to prepare Domeyko’s chamber of memory at his home in Santiago de Chile.

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