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Best Practices, Safety-First Policies Are Musts For TAKRAF Group

Diego Torroella - TAKRAF Mexico
Managing Director


Fernando Mares By Fernando Mares | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Tue, 05/09/2023 - 17:21

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Q: What are the main safety standards mining companies must comply with and how is Mexico meeting those standards? 
A: TAKRAF Group is a global company with a strong focus on safety and a zero-harm approach to the topic. We do not enter any areas where there is the possibility of risk to our employees; we will even decline to work on a project if we see that it is not a safe operation. We are proud of the success we have had with both Mexican and international companies that come to Mexico and that already have a global safety plan implemented. 

Our Group has spent many years working in Mexico in the safest way possible. It is no longer a luxury to have a zero-accident rate but a necessity and something that we strive to achieve. There has been strong industry investment in this regard. TAKRAF Group’s products and services consider global best practices and operations. We boast all local safety certifications depending on the country where we are fabricating and operating. Moreover, we always perform safety and quality analyses on our suppliers to see if they comply with these standards, for both their products and their infrastructure.

Q: What are the main challenges to introducing new approaches in the mining industry? 
A: Our Group works to bring the best practices and technology to the country of execution and makes sure to be able to integrate them successfully onsite. Since our projects are often very complex, many industry components are fabricated in different countries; however, if a project is carried out in Mexico (or any other country for that matter), the quality will be as good as a project in Germany, for example, and one will not be able to tell the difference. However, the challenge is in educating the client on the value of the long-term product and the reasoning for the robust systems. Such products go beyond basic parameters and by including global proficiency. 

TAKRAF Group carries out a CAPEX and OPEX comparison to show our clients that they would be saving money with our technological solution. Furthermore, our Group is also extremely focused on reliability and efficiency, ensuring our clients’ equipment will be able to continue to deliver value over the long term and be brought back to operating condition in the shortest time possible.

Q: What is TAKRAF’s approach to tackling the industry’s reluctance to adopt new technologies?
A: One of the approaches we adopt is to tackle these challenges from a social perspective. Considering the fact that mines are sometimes far from cities and therefore have issues with local manpower requirements, we prefer to automate some jobs that make most sense to do so, resulting in then having highly trained individuals to keep control of our automated systems, and most importantly any position that could put a person at risk

Mining projects are still labor-intensive and they last for years. To convince mining operators, we must evaluate which projects need more specific and tailored attention and, if possible, talk to the engineers and operators to learn what equipment they are accustomed to and if there is some reasoning behind such. That way, we can offer them something that better adapts to their operations and what they require. Often, we do not need to reinvent the wheel, but make small but important and effective changes that make a big difference to how our clients use our equipment.

Q: What are the company’s efforts regarding research and development (R&D)? 
A: TAKRAF Group aims to continue its extensive research across our business lines, specifically on maintenance and modular construction. Our Group is also focused on the recovery of concentrates and the re-use of processed operation water. Mexico, like many places in the world, is facing major problems regarding water, making the most efficient system for water recovery, essential. We have various tools available in this regard, such as filters (pressure and/or belt) and thickeners. For the most efficient recovery of minerals, we have invested in developing the best of the market flotation cells, which recover concentrates more efficiently by having modified the bubble frequency and distribution. In the end, less water is consumed and more concentrates are recovered.

Q: What will be the main challenges for equipment suppliers in 2023? 
A:  Our main challenges are current general market volatility and inflation. We see the short term being somewhat challenging, with improvements towards the medium and long term as the fundamentals of limited supply with increasing overall demand start to take effect. Commodity prices, as was the case in 2022, will evince significant volatility with divergent trends. This volatility will make it difficult for all stakeholders to properly plan for the future as not only will our clients' temper and/or postpone investments as the outlook for the future will remain clouded due to the volatility, but properly planning input costs will also make it challenging for all concerned.  

Increasing global energy transition efforts will also add to the mix and further drive up the demand for many commodities In fact, it is estimated that increasing consumption will outstrip the sector’s ability to ramp up supply, resulting in commodity deficits as early as 2024. Recent analysis indicates a doubling of copper demand by 2035 based on decarbonization initiatives aimed at meeting the goal of net zero emissions by 2050. 

Q: What are TAKRAF’s projects for 2023? 
A: Right now, we are working on a key mine in Guerrero where we are manufacturing a 6.5 km underground conveyor system that will be anchored to the ceiling. In addition, we are installing processing equipment. In this instance, we are combining the two brands of our global Group, TAKRAF and DELKOR. With this client, we started with process equipment and started to make operational improvements. They noted the value this added and our relationship has deepened ever since. 

Photo by:   Mexico Business Publishing

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