Claudia Márquez
Latin America Regional Director of Mining Solutions
The Chemours Company
View from the Top

LATAM, A Strategic Region for Chemours’ Mining Solutions

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 12:05

Q: How does doing business in Mexico differ from doing business in other mining jurisdictions in Latin America?
A: Mexico faces challenges in security and with the implementation of additional taxes. Even with those challenges Mexico has done quite well when compared to other mining jurisdictions in Latin America. It’s number one in silver and number nine in gold production worldwide. In Latin America, Mexico is the second largest gold producer. This implies a large number of operations, and in fact, an important consumption of chemicals to process these minerals. For us, Mexico has the largest demand of sodium cyanide in the region.
Chemours is a global company but we have a very strong local team that is close to our customers and understands their needs. Chemours sees itself as an enabler and strives to help its clients continue to grow while increasing productivity at a low cost. We have two strategically-located sites in Mexico, one in San Luis Potosi and one in Hermosillo, that can support the largest gold and silver regions in the country. Additionally to those sites, we are investing in a new production facility in the state of Durango to meet the growing demand in Mexico.
Q: In what ways can Chemours help operators that struggle with falling grades in mine projects?
A: Many operators are struggling with grades that are not as high as they used to be, which affects their ability to maintain their production levels. This means the industry needs to use chemicals in more efficient ways to maintain production levels. Our plan is to help the industry take better advantage of the power of chemistry to improve their operations, and we are using our knowledge in chemistry to find innovative solutions for lower grade operations. Each mine represents a unique opportunity to better measure systems and create a more efficient output.
As lower grades become a growing reality, measurement technology will continue to play a bigger role in the processing circuit. It is important to analyze and use mega data trends to predict output. Our customers need help with prediction the production output based on certain grades and the effect sodium cyanide can have on these.
It will be interesting to see how the connection between automatization and digitalization continues to interact with mining and chemistry. We are experts in chemistry concerns and we are introducing technology to further improve sodium cyanide usage and reduce risks.
Q: Why does Chemours internally promote a strong sense of entrepreneurship considering it is a global company?
A: The prioritization of a start-up culture has been key for our success in Mexico. We treated entering the country the same way someone would treat the creation of a start-up. All of our team members feel a strong sense of ownership of the company and treat the business as if it were their own. It also allows us to be autonomous, make faster decisions, discover errors faster and therefore learn faster. Entrepreneurship is part of our five core values, followed by safety, customer centricity, simplicity and unshakeable integrity. This guides the way we do business around the world.
The mining industry is making a great effort to promote human talent development and attraction in the country. In Mexico’s mining history, there have been times when it didn’t have a positive public perception but this is starting to change. The industry has started to communicate the reality of mining which should result in new generations by raising interest in the sector. Also, public relations are important to attract and retain talent within the newer generations. At Chemours, we are making our own effort by having a diverse and inclusive team. In addition, to better understand the industry, we have included team members with an important background in the sector to make sure we are speaking the same language as our clients. This helps feed the innovation in the company and allows the adoption of new and more sophisticated solutions.