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A conversation with Christian Spano

18 November 2021

We are delighted to welcome Christian Spano to ICMM as our new Director, Innovation. Christian will be responsible for several projects that will help us to drive a step-change in the way we design, build and operate mines. We caught up with Christian to learn a bit more about him and his background.

Tell us about yourself and your previous experience?

I was born in Peru to an Italian father and a German mother, my wife is Brazilian and my kids British. I love sports, I love cooking and I love good, long conversations with friends. I've spent my 20-year career in the natural resource space, first in forestry, then in energy and for half of my career in mining and metals.

What made you choose ICMM?

After several years of adjustment, the mining industry is entering an exciting moment, but a challenging one. I see this new cycle at ICMM as a critical moment for the institution, one that allows members and more broadly the industry to play a leadership role in a just energy transition. I find this very exciting, and I cannot think of a better place to contribute to that process but ICMM.

What in your opinion are the biggest challenges facing the industry?

I think there are two big challenges. One is the mindset reflected in the culture of the industry – that is the mining and metals industry looks at things through a lens of risk, rather than a lens of opportunity. This is changing, but change has been usually framed as something to avoid instead of embracing. The second is the scale of growth required in the industry to supply the minerals for the energy transition and in general economic growth within a context that is driven by ever increasing ESG criteria. The speed of innovation required in terms of technology, social, business and operating models will be massive.

What are you excited to work on next year?

ICSV is a key focus, we need to start driving fast adoption. I would also love to contribute to climate and circular topics too.

If you were on a desert island with one song and one luxury what would they be?

My song would be "Stir it up" by Bob Marley and The Wailers, and as a luxury a surfboard so that I can learn how to surf! The song reminds me of when I was at school, and I used to escape to the local beaches with little money but amazing company. You would always be able to hear "Stir it up" as you approached the beach.

Find out more about Christian by reading his bio on our website.