David Juárez
Managing Director
Herrenknecht Tunneling Services Mexico
View from the Top

Achieving Low-Cost Underground Operations

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 17:46

Q: What areas of opportunity has the company identified in the Mexican mining industry?
A: Our core business is underground infrastructure for civil construction but we believe that mining is a good area of opportunity for us. We have had a great deal of success in infrastructure development and are seeking opportunities to expand into mining. Our company has global experience in the industry. We do not seek to compete with other underground construction companies in the area but to complement their services with the tools we can provide. The company wants to supply new technologies and alternatives. We are leaders in mechanizing underground structures.
Several mines throughout the country are in different stages of development and this is an important area of opportunity for us. We can offer them tools to overcome the challenges they face, such as accessing ore bodies. This part of the development phase normally implies a significant investment of time and capital. We can provide tools and solutions that can drastically reduce these costs. We specialize in vertical access tunnels and our products have a wide variety of applications that we want to offer the sector.
Q: What strategies are you using to enter the sector?
A: It has not been easy entering the sector, nor has it been fast. The industry is still getting to know our products and the new applications that we offer. We have been able to invite them to meet with us. We have global success stories as proof of the quality of our work. In Canada, we built two big vertical mine shafts that were 1,000m deep. This was a critical step for the mine to reach the production phase. In the first stages of the project, we needed to determine what was most feasible and it trusted us to manufacture the machines it needed.
We seek to become an integral solution provider. We meet frequently with decision makers to approach the industry, holding technical meetings and explaining the concepts, machines and solutions they need for underground construction. They can rely on our company and our ability to provide proven technology and expertise for mechanized solutions.
Companies in Mexico are open to seeing and learning about new solutions in the market. We can meet their thirst for new and socialized products at a low cost. While it can be hard to prove this as the initial cost is higher, the benefits of starting production in a shorter amount of time are too great. We are not afraid of big challenges and believe that Mexico is the ideal country to work in. The main component of our added value is to develop the project in conjunction with our client. The Mexican office has been here for 10 years and we have a recipe for success to help our clients make more profit. If they are doing well, so are we.
Q: How are you helping Mexican companies adapt to the fact that mines are deeper and more complex?
A: Our company wants to show the industry that it is possible to operate deeper underground mines with cost-effective solutions and we know how to help them achieve this. Our company has a wide range of experience; we have participated in mining projects in Russia, the UK and Canada. We consider clients to be our partners. We start collaborating with them from the first stages of the mines in engineering and execution. Our specialized technicians can support their needs from the very beginning to the end. Our aftersales services are some of the best in the market. We can even provide solutions for the drilling phase of the mine development.