Mexico Thriving Off Political Stability and Rich Geology
Q: What role does the Mexican mining industry play in your business strategy?
A: We started to focus on the mining industry in Latin America in the 1990s when traditional markets in Eastern Europe broke down due to economic shifts. The company realized that Latin America had the fastest-growing copper markets, particularly in Mexico. Today, we have a presence in all the major mining countries around the world, including Mexico, Chile, Peru, Canada and the US.
In comparison to other mining economies, Mexico has substantial advantages. Countries like Australia have depleting resources while others such as Indonesia have political problems. Mexico on the other hand, has an abundance of resources yet to be explored and the potential to be a mining powerhouse. Mexico is a major player today in the global mining industry, with 1,172 opportunities identified across all commodities and in all stages of development. We are interested in 717 that are in early stages of development.
We have completed many successful projects in Mexico including a high-capacity conveying system installed in Buenavista del Cobre for Grupo México, and a shiploader for limestone in Quintana Roo. We continuously strive to be at the forefront of new technology so that we can best serve our clients in Mexico and elsewhere in their pursuit of delivering ore and concentrates at competitive prices.
Q: What role do mergers and acquisitions play within your business strategy and ability to innovate?
A: We search for companies that are well respected in the industry and have excellent long-term relationships with their clients, but that also possess the ambition for developing technology that can impact the industry. TAKRAF recently acquired FMC Technologies’ material-handling business (Material Handling Systems) based in Pennsylvania. With a product portfolio complementary to TAKRAF’s, the group can now provide a wider range of equipment specialized to smaller capacity volumes and integrated in-plant conveyor solutions.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you face when it comes to entering the Mexican market with innovative technology?
A: One of the biggest issues we face is acceptance of new technology, although we have succeeded in introducing state of the art equipment on some recent projects in Mexico. I am encouraged that our clients in Mexico trust that our equipment can help them overcome challenging situations. Mexico is an ideal candidate for introducing products such as our overland conveyors, spreaders and mobile stackers and availing of TAKRAF’s wide range of services from conceptual studies. Considering the complexity and sophistication of the equipment, TAKRAF provides installation support as well as emergency calls. TAKRAF specialists can get to any site in Mexico within a day.
Q: What kind of logistical challenges do you face in Mexico when it comes to shipping and processing?
A: As in many places around the world, Mexico has challenges when it comes to safe and efficient transportation of goods. The country is improving the situation by further developing its bridges and roads to facilitate transportation to its industrial sites. The two-lane highway to Cananea, Sonora from Arizona is still quite dangerous even after improvements that have taken over three years to complete. Improving the efficiency of logistics will require continued investment in its transportation infrastructure, but this is vital in Mexico because moving goods and equipment safely and effectively remains an issue for our clients in the country.
Q: What plans do you have to further establish the company’s brands in Mexico?
A: TAKRAF will continue to invest in its offices in Santa Fe, Mexico City and Cananea, increasing resources as needed to advance the TAKRAF, DELKOR and TAT brands. We predict that mineral prices will be at high levels again by 2020 and Mexico will be one of the main beneficiaries. So it is essential that we continue to improve our presence in the country, maintain our client relationships and find new partners.