Finding Blue Oceans in MiningWed, 02/21/2018 - 17:27
Q: What differentiates Beltservice Mexico’s cleated belts from similar options in the market and why should Mexican miners choose yours?
A: The black belt or heavy belting is the product that adds the most value to the mining industry. We offer several tension specifications, from 330piw to 600-900piw. Our products comply with the highest security standards for conveyor belts. As we compete with the global majors in belting, we make sure that our materials have the highest quality and that our belts are designed with the most accurate calculations. Also, our international logistics system is optimum, making our response times some of the best in the market. If we have the required product in our warehouse in Monterrey, it is shipped within 24 hours, if not it will take up to five days from our facilities in St. Louis. Our stored equipment meets 80 percent of the mining industry’s needs; the remaining 20 percent are very specific tailor-made belts.
Another key differentiator is our wide solutions portfolio, as we offer belts for every need. If we do not have it, we design it from scratch. We also provide field advisory to our clients to make sure their belts are working properly and with the right tension specificity. We have been providing this service in Mexico since we started our operations in the country in 1994.
Q: Who are your main partners in the Mexican mining industry?
A: It used to be challenging for foreign suppliers to enter the Mexican market because inventory and logistics costs were very high. But as a US company, we have had the advantage of working under NAFTA, which means our black heavy belts and other products are tariff-free, making us more price-competitive. We also have commercial partners such as FIMSA. There are many nontraditional mining providers that are gaining mining market share. For example, one of our main distributors is Applied, which recently entered mining and found key opportunities in the industry. We sell directly to this company.
Q: What is behind the success of Beltwall for ore processing and what would you say is its key differentiator?
A: Beltwall is Beltservice’s patented technology. Belts have interior and exterior covers with textile layers in between, adding resistance to the rubber. Beltwall has crossed textiles that add transversal rigidity, making the belt fully tensed and using the band’s entire area in conveying material. Also, to avoid material slipping, traditional conveyor belts have up to a 35-degree incline; implying building a huge structure that is expensive. Beltwall works like an L with up to 90-degree inclines as it builds a box that avoids the need for all the structure and its expenses. We can increase the amount of moved material by 30 percent at a minimum.
In 2015, Beltservice Corporation bought the Italian company BeltTS that provides filter belts for gold processing and we want to venture into other metals too. When the ore is milled, the chemicals are added. Filter Belts separate the mud and liquids from the solids, which allows reuse and better compliance with environmental regulations. This belt is only manufactured by three companies in the world. It is a high-value piece of equipment. We have already implemented this system at First Majestic’s Santa Elena mine. We want to expand it to other gold mines in the country.
Mexico has a privileged geographical position and its mining industry is becoming increasingly resilient and mature. We hope to maintain our leading presence in the country. To do so, our goal is to continue specializing. Our strategy is to find the blue oceans in the sector.