Oscar Perez
Operational and Commercial Director
View from the Top

Fully Mexican Company Revolutionizes Mining Tire Market

By Paloma Duran | Wed, 05/25/2022 - 12:13

Q: Why are off the road (OTR) tires a key piece for mining operations and how does Mountar add value by providing maintenance for this equipment?

A: As the mining industry matures, so does the capacity and performance of its equipment. Not long ago, the sector launched 90-ton trucks. Now, it operates with 240-ton trucks. This accelerated development has brought some challenges: the bigger the equipment, the bigger the tire it requires.

Historically, OTR tires have been primarily developed by only two manufacturers, Bridgestone and Michelin. We are different because we do not sell new tires. Rather, we offer refurbished tires. When a tire wears out, we carry out a process to recover the rubber. Our offer is very competitive because it is cheaper than buying a new product. Where manufacturers offer the price of a new tire, we charge per hour. Mountar believes that OTRs should be handled carefully because they not only represent cost but also risk. In the event of an explosion, their impact is comparable to a hand grenade. Considering this, miners need to have a reliable, certified and trained company that specializes in working with these tires.

Another differentiator is our specialization in handling tires of any size. In addition, it is a great advantage that we do not represent any brand. Our only goal is to extend the life of the tire, regardless of who manufactured it. As a result, miners have more options to improve their performance, save money and be more environmentally friendly.

Q: What type of operations does the company work with the most?

A: We work with both juniors and major players, such as Grupo México, Torex Gold, Fresnillo and Peñoles. We also have a contract with Mexico’s largest mine, Cananea. This project operates with 118 of the world’s largest trucks, as well as 300 machines that function as auxiliary equipment. We work at the company’s site 24/7. For smaller operations, we have a more specialized approach.

Q: By how much can your services extend the life of a tire?

A: If an object punctures a tire and is left inside, there will come a point when it will not be possible to repair it because the rubber and tire will have separated. Therefore, it is key to remove that object quickly so the tire can be saved. All equipment will inevitably experience problems and eventually fail. However, we aim to allow the equipment to reach its useful life efficiently, even if mishaps occur. Once the equipment has reached the end of its life, we can refurbish it. We have been able to increase equipment life by 60 percent and sometimes even 100 percent. It all depends on the characteristics of the equipment and how well it was maintained.

 Q: How is Mountar improving dust control in mining and what makes your solution different?

A: Around five years ago, we took our first pioneering steps in dust control together with a partner. Our solution is supervised by a civil engineer experienced in the irrigation of emulsifiers which we now manufacture ourselves. It has been proven to be successful and has been replicated in large projects such as Peñasquito, Juanicipio and La Herradura.

Q: What do you think is behind the success of the company and what does the company expect for 2022?

A: We are a 100 percent Mexican company, born in Sonora. Creating trust, being highly innovative and having a highly diversified portfolio has been key to the development of the company. Our product portfolio can be tailored to many different needs, as we offer retreading, dust control and specialty lubrication products, among other solutions. At first, many miners did not concern themselves with tires and did not believe in refurbishing them. However, by knocking on doors, we grew. Now, 90 percent of our Sonoran customers are equipped with refurbished tires and we are working on our second manufacturing plant in the south of Mexico. This plant, as well as our contacts in Guerrero and Zacatecas, have been essential to increasing our presence in other states.

We believe that Mountar will continue to grow in 2022 as we achieved peak performance during the pandemic’s first year, when the situation was toughest.

Mountar offers OTR tire maintenance, repairs, renewals, dust control and specialized solutions for mining operations.

Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst