César Ruiz
General Director
View from the Top

Drilling Experts Innovate in the Mining Sector

By Paloma Duran | Tue, 04/06/2021 - 10:19

Q: In which specific areas is the company specialized?

A: We consider ourselves drilling experts. We have 10 years of drilling experience in the mining sector and we only sell products that are directly related to drilling, which is something that sets us apart from our competitors, since we are highly specialized. In addition, MINSOL’s offer also provides the appropriate technical support and information. This helps customers improve the useful life of their drilling equipment and its consumables. We also help provide support in the selection of the right drilling tools for their drilling needs.

Q: How has the company evolved in the mining sector?

A: We have been in the mining market for seven years. We are a young company that is growing fast. When I arrived in Mexico in 2010, I did not know much about the mining business. I studied at UC Berkeley and graduated with a major not related to anything having to do with mining, and when I started working with my father-in-law in the mining industry, there were many things I had to learn. Being involved in the supply chain in the mining sector has become a passion of mine, and I have the conviction that the people who work at MINSOL also enjoy what they do in providing solutions to the industry. We have been able to grow the business exponentially in the last seven years thanks to the opportunities that exist in the sector and the company's willingness to become a strategic ally for mining companies. We believe that if we continue with our good practices, the company will be able to double its size in the next five years.

Q: How has the company used its size to its advantage?

A: We are a smaller company compared to our competitors; however, this has allowed us to develop a closer and more personal relationship with our clients. It also means we can provide high-quality services and technical support. We always want to ensure our clients obtain prompt solutions adapted to their drilling needs. As a result, we have a maximum period of 72 hours to respond to our customer’s demands.

Q: Why should mining companies choose your products and how do those products differentiate from others in the market?

A: Mining companies should consider us as one of their top choices because our drill rigs and consumables have faster penetration rates, are highly durable and have strategic cost savings. In addition, our drill rigs are easier to maintain and operate, directly increasing productivity and cost savings.

Some of our competitors have machinery with many electronic components on their drill rigs. If you use them under hot and humid mine conditions, that could lead to several problems.  We established a commercial relationship with the drilling subsidiary of the Japanese company Furukawa, FRD, and we offer rigs with fewer electrical components. They are more ergonomic, safer, simpler but are robust and more efficient than others in the mining market.

Q: What is the goal of the Go MINSOL project?

A: Through our Go MINSOL project we are training clients to efficiently use the GoPro camera and collect data that can later be used to create new strategies for drilling operations. In addition, we ask them to send us daily camera feeds so we can provide them with recommendations on how to improve drilling operations and the useful life of drilling products. At the moment, we are only using it for surface mining; however, we are working on the project to adapt it to underground environments.

Q: How is the company’s partnership with the global brands Robit and Furukawa working?

A: These companies aspire to become global leaders in the mining industry. Robit estimates that this year it will become the third-largest supplier of drilling consumables in the world; therefore, with this partnership, MINSOL expects to acquire a greater share of the mining market. Robit gives us great technical support and they have an open-door policy where I even have direct access to Tommi Lehtonen, CEO of Robit, and this has allowed us to have a stronger business relationship. Last month, we hosted a Drill Master from Robit who traveled from Spain to Mexico and visited various mine sites. This demonstrates our strong business dynamic and our commitment to grow together.

Regarding our relationship with Furukawa, we were planning to visit them in Japan, but COVID-19 postponed it. Nevertheless, our relationship with them is equally good and we receive excellent support from them. We get support from Japan and the US of course but also from staff in South America, where the company has a greater presence in the mining sector as far as Latin America goes.

Q: If you could recommend three of your products to Mexican mining companies, which ones would they be?

A: I recommend the HD bit for surface drilling and long hole drilling from Robit. We have worked with several designs and most of our customers are very happy that we added an HD line, which is a heavy-duty line for difficult terrain. Our litmus test will be at the Avino mine, where it will be used on very hard and abrasive rock that causes difficulties for their long hole drilling production. We expect to achieve great success with this product, and once we test them, we will know how much more productive they can be. We delivered two T1AM Furukawa jumbos in Mexico in September 2019 and January 2020. The first one went to a contractor working at Peñoles’ Madero mine in Zacatecas and the other to a contractor in First Majestic Silver’s San Dimas mine in Durango. Both have been highly productive even with some of the setbacks posed by the pandemic.

We also recommend our CME grinders for button bit grinding. CME offers grinding machines and consumables that can reestablish the buttons original shape on the bits, allowing them to cut more efficiently resulting in better performance and longer bit life spans. I believe that in today's Mexican mining market everyone should be grinding their bits and if they have not, we can help customers determine which machine is best suited for their needs or what service we can provide to increase the useful life of their drilling products.

MINSOL is specialized in drilling consumables and drilling equipment. The company has a team of professionals with extensive experience who, together with the brands they represent, provide exceptional support to their clients.

Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst