Manuel Lecona
Director of Latin America Industrial Verticals
Thermo Fisher Scientific
View from the Top

Increasing Mine Efficiency Through Data Analysis

Thu, 10/17/2019 - 10:26

Q: What factors have impacted the company’s performance this year?
A: Although our 1Q19 results in Mexico were good, they were not as high as our other regions around the world. This was mainly because of the new government’s slow transition, which created a challenging environment. Private investment in key sectors such as healthcare and mining helped prop up our numbers. Specifically, in the chemical analysis division, the investment in the federal air quality networks boosted our results. For mining in particular, we were able to close projects with some of the most important companies within the mining industry in 1H19.
Another factor that impacted our performance was that we began offering a larger array of solutions to complement existing products. We were able to sell value to our customers by employing a more integrated and key-account approach. The market has responded well to this approach and we want to continue adding value to the industry and growing our sales this way.
Q: How do you maximize the value of the services, tools and systems you offer to your clients?
A: Last year we introduced a marketing tool for mining companies called Thermo Fisher Mining Solutions Tool Kit, which was an interactive app developed by our LATAM Marketing Specialists for the region. That marketing tool was designed to explain what we can do for the mining industry. We can help our clients by providing solutions during the exploration and production phases, as well as through laboratories. We have solutions that ensure a safe working environment for their workers and innovative solutions to improve lab results.
Q: What tools or technology is Thermo Fisher introducing into the mining sector to help digitalize operations?
A: We offer a software solution, called LIMS, that helps miners manage their onsite lab operations. An emblematic project we carried out in Chile for CODELCO fully demonstrates our capabilities. CODELCO required a program that would allow for the horizontal integration of its processes. Our LIMS software facilitated the integration, adapting to its systems and network. This project was successful in integrating its clients, samples, analysis and results. We offer a variety of solutions across the entire mining value chain. Companies are no longer just buying instruments; they are investing in intelligence.
Q: How does Thermo Fisher innovate across the mining stages, from exploration to production?
A: A great amount of data can be collected in the exploration stage, and we provide miners with the tools necessary to go into the mine and obtain all the information they need onsite. We offer portable analyzers that use X-rays to obtain even more information.
Other Thermo Fisher solutions can be used in the processing phase. Our MEP-300 is one of the most accurate analyzers in the market. This equipment helps our customers determine the exact amount of precious minerals that are being processed. These types of technologies help miners understand the value in US dollars of the mineral they are processing in the plant. The MEP-300 is an online analyzer that is deployed in the field and which can be adapted to the installed solutions and technology.
Q: What environmental solutions is Thermo Fisher offering to measure the impact from Mexican mining operations?
A: Among these are air quality-monitoring solutions. We are moving away from providing probes and individual technologies to offering complete solutions. Our chemical analysis solutions bundle a variety of offerings into one, for example. Our solutions for environmental monitoring help miners understand how their operations are impacting the surrounding area. Our air quality network, for example, can help our customers better understand the impact of the gases within their mines, giving them better control of the pollution at their sites.