Miguel Guerrero
View from the Top

First-Hand Knowledge Provides Added Edge

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 11:07

Q: What added value does PROESMMA bring to the mining industry in Mexico?
A: We work alongside our clients to understand their needs. We have developed a team that adds value to the technical features of the products we offer. This technical team allows us to understand the needs of mining operations first-hand. For instance, with circuit optimization, we allow our clients to use a simulator we created to perform industry tests virtually, without the need to conduct them on-site. This lets them know if changes need to be made in their process without any real-time delays. Every additional product or service is free of cost to the client. Any other company would charge for these services but this is our added value. We need to provide these add-ons because the industry is in a situation where companies need to save on expenses.
Remaining competitive is difficult in the current landscape given the peso’s depreciation and difficult geopolitical circumstances. The mining industry faces growing challenges and we, as providers, can be part of the value dynamic that provides operational efficiency at lower costs. This should be the obligation of all providers and we all need to be willing to sacrifice some profit to provide our clients with added value.
Q: How does PROESMMA implement a flexible business model for the mining industry?
A: The industry has radically changed in the last couple years and we needed to become more flexible. We need to become more profitable but at the same time we face increasing competition. If we can simultaneously provide both innovation and savings with payment flexibility, our clients will have an extraordinary experience.
This year, alongside Monterrey Technological Institute and Fablab Chihuahua, we developed a project for an innovative classification model of steel balls for grinder cleaning. Previously, every grind-cleaning process disposed of all the used material. This project allows mining companies to save costs by classifying the balls being extracted from the grind so that some may be reused for further operations rather than wasted. These processes are being used by CEMEX at a national level and are being replicated in the mining industry.
Q: What impact is the industry seeing as a result of the new government’s priorities?
A: We are facing increasing challenges for innovation, technology and knowledge transfer because many federal programs are being canceled. These programs were supposed to support innovation structures and the current situation hinders economic development. A key challenge for the sector is to help the administration recognize that mining is one of the most important industries in Mexico. The country needs to foster conditions that attract investment. We are interested in exploration activities being carried out in Mexico to showcase business opportunities in the country so that companies see Mexico as a friendly environment for doing business. We are now not only competing regionally, but internationally and the vision of the federal government, whose job is promotion, has fallen short of business expectations. If federal regulations penalize the industry with taxes and concession or exploration cancelations, it will be difficult to attract new projects. We need to ensure that new projects arrive to the country and to do this the government and private sector need to work together.  
Q: How is PROESMMA positioned for growth?
A: Our main objective is to continue developing our main product: steel balls for grinding. We are looking for new companies to engage in joint ventures, which is how we have grown in the previous 10 years. Understanding the needs of our clients is of the utmost importance to continue finding innovative opportunities for our products. Despite our growth and evolution, we continue to focus on our core business but we also are looking for partnerships with companies that have mining-related activities. Mining is the group’s most important market.