Construction Company Carves out Mining NicheWed, 10/19/2016 - 22:07
As one of the top 10 most important construction companies in the state of Sonora, Gluyas Construcciones has carved a niche in the mining sector since this particular industry demands highly specialized infrastructure. By using the expertise it has acquired in the construction sector, it is able to supply its mining clients with high quality, efficient, sustainable construction services, according to the company’s Director General, Marcos Gluyas. “This would not be possible without the support of financial institutions since we need to invest in specialized equipment and the infrastructure that is being erected is highly complex,” he concedes. Gluyas Construcciones has been involved in large infrastructure projects ranging from roads and bridges to complex urban developments and this has helped the company to offer unique solutions in the mining industry.
The company’s solutions are geared toward site preparation and often Gluyas Construcciones acts as the first contractor that enters the site during the construction stage. Its mandate is to make way for other contractors by opening the areas where the large equipment will be installed. “We carry out excavations of great lengths and depths, and in order to prepare the sites to the best of our ability, we continuously replace our equipment,” Gluyas comments. In order to deliver large volumes, the company requires large equipment, and as providers of solutions, each project is considered on an individual basis. “Last year in one project for Buenavista del Cobre alone, we moved 35 million m3 of material,” Gluyas boasts. “We offer excavation of large volumes, road works, site preparation, and rock crushing.” According to him, players in the construction industry have been able to find a safe haven in the mining industry because public sector projects and bids are extremely limited within infrastructure projects. “Public developments are scarce and the budgets are even more limited, but the mining sector is bound to generate more projects of greater volume,” he predicts. Gluyas Construcciones relies on other suppliers that specialize in other branches in order to generate a complete solution, and as a result, the supply chain is strengthened.
Gluyas explains that the supply chain of top equipment providers is extremely limited in Mexico, and the proximity to the US is not enough to bridge this gap. The country largely relies on large volumes of machinery and he finds that the aftermarket and service support of some suppliers is negligible. In order to maintain quality and safety standards, Gluyas Construcciones replaces its
machinery almost every three years as well as carrying out regular maintenance, and this creates a more complex supply chain. “It is important to gain the trust of financial institutions since miners have a clear way of working and there are no significant advanced payments, which makes us rely on these entities to acquire the necessary machinery,” Gluyas shares. “The contracts have to be well defined in terms of the amount of equipment necessary for the project and the payments can be dealt with later on.” For Gluyas, a quick response is the most critical component in the mining industry and this ensures any company a place in the mining supply chain. Technology and automation has been embraced in the mining industry and the construction sector is no exception. “We are now influenced by new applications and trends like project management in order to make our construction processes more efficient,” Gluyas explains. “While the equipment advances in leaps and bounds and becomes more sophisticated, it makes the response time more complicated because if there is a failure in the machines it can be difficult to obtain the needed technical support.”
Gluyas Construcciones works according to volume and sometimes this fluctuates in accordance to the amount of resources the miner has. Moreover, the company navigates two sectors, the public and the private, and with this experience, it has come to see great distinctions between the two. “The private sector is always under time pressure and demands a fast response time,” Gluyas explains. “On the other hand, the public sector does not put so much emphasis on time and projects take longer to complete.” In the previous administration the public infrastructure was incredibly restricted to a few players, according to Gluyas, which was the reason for the company’s decision to diversify into the mining sector. “Over the years, we have seen that no matter how isolated and remote the mines are located, there is always an economic and social prosperity,” he comments. “Mines pave the way to new infrastructure and the construction industry battles with obtaining financing and sourcing equipment and materials in order to become a trustworthy supplier of top mining players.”