Francisco Alanís
Director Partner
DMV Mining Intelligence
View from the Top

Mining Experience Applied to Consulting

Wed, 10/19/2016 - 21:25

Q: How do you encourage synergy between different divisions to create business opportunities?

A: We are currently involved in a project in Coahuila where we are extracting barite. At first we had entered the project as shareholders to make a profit from the mine but slowly we became more involved by contributing to the startup process and overall development of the mine. The company is also participating in another project for the contracting division in which we help document processes, identify opportunities for operational improvement, and develop a more strict planning strategy. Our consulting division has created a partnership with the Spanish engineering company Torsa in order to provide our customers with technological mining solutions. We are beginning to offer personnel localization in mines by using radio localization (Total Tracking), anti-collision systems (Total Detector), and traffic control equipment over ramps to increase operational efficiency (Total Traffic). Our goal is for our clients to recognize our name and request our services because they are aware of the quality services that we offer.

Q: What was your contribution to mining projects and how did you help your clients optimize processes?

A: We were involved in Silver Standard's La Pitarilla Mine, and First Majestic Silver’s La Parrilla projects as a contractor, which means we arrive with our own work team and machinery to develop ramps, entrances, and fronts inside the mine. The company is in charge of creating the cave’s internal infrastructure, and the revenue depends on the tasks completed by the work team. Once that is completed, the team begins to extract the minerals, moving them through ramps and the entire infrastructure the company had previously built. We have an eight year contract with First Majestic Silver, and we also have contracts with a national firm in Durango. All the projects in which we are involved are underground mines where we use drill jumbos and other equipment made by Oldenburg and other main equipment brands. There are many projects that could be developed at the moment with little investment, and investors can wait for market prices to rise again and sell projects to make a profit or reinvest.

Q: What other competitive advantages does DMV have to help their clients become more efficient and competitive?

A: If DMV was a smaller consulting firm and had the same platform, it would be much more complicated to make suggestions or comments to the companies. An advantage we have is that we adhere to internal operation parameters to make the correct recommendations about the current company standards. Another advantage is that we can directly contact engineers that work in different divisions of DMV Group as well as other experts that have extensive knowledge about the industry and processes to assist us with creating tailored solutions. Everything in a project can vary from the amount of infrastructure available and how much capital is invested to the social and cultural surroundings of the project. We have been involved in some projects in which cost reduction strategies are not implemented in the company. The decisions are generally taken by CFOs who base them on financial statements, when COOs should be the ones to identify where cost reduction strategies could be used to increase productivity.

Q: What innovations has DMV Consultores implemented in Mexico?

A: We have constructed our own plant with an internal group, and have also made some in-house adjustments in our own mines. The company wants to bring systems into the market that prevent machinery from colliding and crushing miners, and also worker localization systems. These types of systems can help in case of emergencies like in the case of mine collapses, indicating the exact location of the miners so they can be rescued immediately. This system also helps evacuate all personnel in drills or when blasting is about to begin. The current system is not completely reliable because often the miners forget to check in and there could be people inside that are not accounted for. It also reduces productivity because if somebody forgets to check out, the system would indicate that the individual is still working inside the mine, which would delay processes such as blasting. The technology we are bringing into the market is already being used in mines in Canada, Chile, Peru, and Spain. At the moment, we are introducing the product onto the market.