Daniel Nofrietta
Director
TecMin Servicios
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View from the Top

Integral Drilling Services Offer Variety of Benefits

By Alejandro Ehrenberg | Thu, 01/07/2021 - 15:13

Q: Why did you decide to make your own drilling equipment?

A: We started working as most companies do, importing equipment from well-established manufacturers. But we ran into trouble when trying to find spare parts, often having to wait for several months. Therefore, we developed our own driller-friendly machines. Our machines are eminently functional, even if they do not necessarily include fancy digital features. The parts are selected from brands like Parker or John Deere, which are readily available in most of Mexico. Our machines are error-proof. This means we eliminated equipment that is not essential for safety and functionality because when that equipment fails it results in downtime. Our machines are repairable, easy to use and are low maintenance. They are also less expensive than other alternatives in the market and tend to be more productive.

We recently purchased manufacturing equipment that will allow us to start manufacturing not just in-house but also for clients. We will produce spare parts for the market. Our technology can produce parts based on a software that analyzes the machine where the part is needed. We have set up a shop in Fresnillo, Zacatecas, as a strategic area to serve mining and other sectors. By mid-2021, we hope to have developed a line of products for the market.

Q: How have you branched out to other areas in addition to diamond core drilling?

A: Our main business has always been diamond core drilling but our service is more integral now. For example, we do drilling related to the installation of services in mines, like electricity, diesel or air.

Also, our drilling services let us monitor tailings facilities. We reach the border of the tailings dam and drill deep, until we hit the rock. The client can then install instruments for assessing the level of permeability and know if their tailings are stored optimally.

Moreover, we have developed a technique to recover soil material. Mining companies in the materials segment, like sand or gravel, struggle to obtain good samples. Diamond drilling uses water and reverse rotation, and is not ideal for soil material. Our technique enables drilling to recover 100 percent of this soil material, like mud, tailings, sand or earth. Cement companies greatly benefit from this.

Furthermore, we have a camera that takes pictures inside drill holes. This solves obstacles that might emerge after you have already drilled. It works at great profundity, albeit only in drill holes of four inches or more.

Q: How do your logging services add value to your mining clients?

A: After drilling out the nucleus, the next step is to analyze it. The nucleus needs to be described to define areas of interest and log all the information in databases.

Recently, we have incorporated a team of experienced technicians. As a result, we can now offer complex techniques to our clients, like QAQC, which is a technique for incorporating false samples into the sample as a control to ensure the labs are being accurate.

We work with many mines that are already in operation and whose workload is already defined. They may already have a geology department, so once we get there, we have to coordinate and work together. Our geologists can complement and also train their geologists. Tecmin is like a mobile geology department.

For big clients that have a good structure in place, the benefit is that they can solve their geology needs without having to hire new workers if the project is short-term. Also, we can create synergies with the client’s geologists.

For companies that are not quite established yet, and for exploration companies with no geology department, the benefit is that we come in with our own infrastructure and set up a geology department for them. They do not have to incur the cost themselves and can just outsource the service.

 

Tecmin Servicios specializes in drilling services. It has carried out contracts in all types of terrain and conditions, for both Mexican and foreign clients. The company was established in Mexico in October 2014.

Alejandro Ehrenberg Alejandro Ehrenberg Journalist and Industry Analyst