The Expomin fair, one of the main mining gatherings in Latin America, kicked off on Monday in Chile, the world's biggest copper producer, at a time when the industry is facing new challenges on environmental issues and just when the price of the "red metal" has been seesawing.

More ecological ore handling equipment, remote controls to operate the machinery from a distance and innovative strategies to eliminate mining residues in a sustainable way are just some of the concepts being featured at the fair, which will run for five days in Santiago and is expected to welcome 50,000 invited guests.