Ricardo Acevedo
Mining Director
View from the Top

Lime: The New and Efficient Low-Cost Soil Stabilizer

By Paloma Duran | Fri, 08/27/2021 - 15:50

Q: Why is lime an important chemical in the mining industry?

A: In mining, lime fulfills four main functions: 1) it levels out the PH of the mineral to take advantage of the cyanide and prevent it from volatilizing; 2) it granulates the material to allow a better penetration of the cyanide and, therefore, releases more gold; 3) for the treatment of mining waste, it neutralizes the waste for its final confinement; and 4) as a soil stabilizer. For the latter use, we are working to encourage its greater implementation in the mining sector since it is a unique opportunity to have firmer soils faster and at a lower cost. This solution benefits all mines but especially those that are in remote locations and with little infrastructure.

Q: What characteristics make REBASA lime an attractive product for the Mexican mining market?

A: We supply not only for mining but also for the steel industry, which is stricter in terms of quality. This forces us to implement higher quality standards. Likewise, we are certified in ISO-9001-2015, which helps us keep our processes up to date and to continuously improve them. Finally, REBASA is part of the Monclova Industrial Group, which has more than a dozen companies in its portfolio. This is an added value for our clients, since they have access to greater support and more innovation.

Q: What advantages do clients obtain from doing business with REBASA?

A: One of the advantages we provide is that we are strategically located to supply the main mining states, including Sonora, Chihuahua, Durango and Guerrero. To cover the entire national territory from north to south, we have plants in Monclova, Santa Catalina, Hidalgo, Puebla and Queretaro.  The other advantage is that we not only provide the product but also support. Some clients want the lime to go directly to their mine or even for us to apply it. We cater to our clients’ needs.

Q: How has Monclova positioned itself as a leader in the production of lime for mining?

A: We have achieved this thanks to our ability to adapt and meet the needs of the market. The Monclova Industrial Group has enjoyed continuous growth. Since its founding 70 years ago, it has incorporated companies that have made it highly diversified. Today, we manufacture lime, mechanical parts, oil platforms, railroad tank cars, trailers for the transport of products, among others. We always seek continuous improvement. In the specific case of REBASA, we constantly innovate because our clients seek greater efficiency, agility and cost reductions.

Q: How is REBASA generating a positive social and environmental impact in the industry?

A: Lime helps with the treatment of waste from mining companies. Today, mines have the responsibility and obligation to treat their waste before confining it to avoid polluting soils and aquifer lakes. Lime is a chemical substance that helps neutralize pollutants that enter the soil. It also helps fertilize and treat soil, providing rich minerals such as magnesium.

Q: What specific actions and programs make REBASA a responsible company?

A: We have a specialized technical management area that guarantees the safe and sustainable exploitation of our quarries, in addition to complying with the corresponding regulations. We also have reforestation and relocation programs for native species to conserve the ecosystem.

We also have a foundation that is more than 50 years old, with which we channel our efforts and resources to take care of the environment and contribute to the development of communities. We have built parks, schools and hospitals in Monclova and we have awarded scholarships so that people can continue to study. Our company also promotes gender inclusion. Our goal is to hire more women for all of our operations because we understand the positive impact they can generate.

Q: How was lime demand affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and what is your outlook for the rest of the year?

A: The demand for lime was affected when the pandemic began, especially in April-May when we stopped operations. The steel and construction sectors are our biggest customers and they were greatly affected by the pandemic, in turn impacting lime demand. For the second half of the year, our outlook is positive, with greater recovery and growth than last year. We are preparing for high demand.

Q: What are some of the new opportunities you have found within the sector?

A: The pandemic was a challenge but also an opportunity to test new processes and technologies. Currently, REBASA is testing new solutions with our main clients, with the goal of improving efficiency and reducing costs. We are also betting more on digital to reach a larger market.

We understood the benefits of working remotely, such as lower costs and a reduced environmental impact. However, the pandemic also introduced a number of challenges, especially in regard to mental health. We have endeavored to ensure that our workers and their families feel supported at all times. We set up a phone number so our associates could anonymously seek psychological help and medical assistance. It has had a very good response, which tells us that we are on the right track.

REBASA is part of Grupo Industrial Monclova. It is specialized in the production of different types of lime for several industrial applications.

Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst