Collaboration Ensures Proper ESG PracticesBy Lorenzo Núñez | Mon, 05/31/2021 - 10:48
Q: What factors led to Gluyas Construcciones foundation in 1989 and how have the company’s opportunities changed since then?
A: Toward the beginning of the 1980s, I had been working with companies offering similar services. It was not until the conclusion of the Dos Nogales freeway extension that we saw opportunities to meet construction needs, which ultimately led to the creation of the company. We founded Gluyas Construcciones with the objective of developing infrastructure in the northeastern part of the country. In 1992, we were invited by an international law firm that was building a precious metal plant in Nacozari de Garcia, Sonora, with the intention of having us do the site preparation process. As a subcontractor for that same law firm, we then won a contract with Grupo México, for which we were in charge of the entire 90km-long highway infrastructure that was part of the same Nacozari project.
Q: How are the company’s products and services helping mining companies to implement ESG practices?
A: In every project we have been a part of, we have collaborated with our clients to ensure these practices. Truth be told, all of the mining companies we have worked with have been socially responsible, meaning we end up adapting to their philosophies of community support. It is worth noting that Gluyas Construcciones also has developed its own social projects. In Sonora for instance, we participate in shelter programs. We also have been involved in social projects in Zacatecas, close to Concepcion del Oro, where we provided services such as city cleanup, plaza construction and street repairs with the intent of improving traffic flow and easing access, as well as increasing security in the neighboring community. All of this is part of the service we provide.
Q: What areas of the company’s expertise and service are most in-demand?
A: Everyone knows that mining operations in Mexico are managed by foreign investors. They are looking for specialists in each of the different areas of a mining operation. We have been hired by a wide range of mining operations to handle operational planning and general infrastructure development. Infrastructure development involves paving, land removal and drainage. We are part of that first line of mine workers that arrive on site.
Q: What are some examples where the company had to pause or readapt due to the pandemic?
It was clear to us that if we continued our normal workflow, we were quite simply not going to be able to work. A clear example of this is our Cananea Zinc plant, which has been shut down for over a year. There is a fear of a resurgence of COVID cases, or rather, losing control of the pandemic. Projects like this that are not considered absolutely essential are being paused, which ultimately hits us hard. This situation has forced us to create the necessary prevention plan to protect our employees. All of these health procedures have a cost, but the cost of having projects suspended is much greater. In some good news, we are expecting that Zinc project in Cananea to resume operations in about a month or so.
Q: What are some of the challenges that the mining sector faces?
A: We believe that the federal administration has not been very open-minded toward the industry, making it somewhat difficult for investors. Mining companies have had struggles of their own, and it would be a real shame for the industry and other industries if mining investment were to suddenly cease. The country has already seen a 20 percent reduction in public work investment, so a decline in mining investment would end up being a really serious situation. We believe the federal government should be more aware of the benefits that mining provides to the country.
What is the next step for Gluyas Construcciones in the mining sector?
We first have to thank our mining clients for continuing to invite us to participate in their projects. Today with the pandemic, metals are enjoying a price increase, which motivates investors to continue investing in projects. Success comes down to miners wanting to dig and there already are good signs of a resurgence in the industry, especially in Sonora, Colima and Zacatecas.
Gluyas Construcciones meets the infrastructure construction needs of the public and private sectors related to road and bridge construction, expansion and modernization, and urbanization projects.