Leif Lindholm
Vice President for Mexico, Central American and the Caribbean
View from the Top

A Push for Faster Technology Adoption

Mon, 10/22/2018 - 11:51

Q: How does the Mexican mining industry compare to other Latin American countries in terms of doing business?
A: The mining industry in Mexico may be smaller than in Latin American countries such as Chile, Peru and Brazil, but business is good. The industry in Mexico is very similar to the Central America and Caribbean markets and 80 percent of our regional portfolio is located in the country. In Mexico, our biggest customers work mainly with copper, gold and silver and our main business is to provide them the highest quality service for bearings and spare parts. We have a team of people around the country with no limitations accessing remote areas and always striving to do so in a safe way. We make sure that our clients have the best equipment in the right place. Our goal is to make them succeed.
The country has several areas of opportunity. The industry is responsible for taking care of the people living in the areas around mines. Likewise, these communities should see the amount of development that mining can foster in local areas. All mining companies strive to create good relationships with their surrounding communities while also needing to maximize profits. We can help them accomplish this, as we not only sell equipment but also offer operational advice on how to improve processes and make sure that their equipment is meeting their needs. Our main focus in the region is to provide services and spare parts to the mining industry. We also provide services to all types of mines, with almost no limitations despite the often-remote locations.
Q: How much of an impact will automation have on mine operations and what role is Metso playing in this regard?
A: I think that Mexico has very modern technology and most miners are starting to automate their operations. Automation allows workers to have better control of the mining processes and ensures that the industry will survive and thrive. I do not believe that automation is a negative factor and it will not significantly impact the number of workers employed in mine sites. It will cause the industry to shift from being labor-intensive to being more knowledge-based, pushing operators to train mine workers and educate them on new technologies. Metso is helping the industry engineer this transition through the development of products and equipment with technology that can improve the control of mining processes.
Mining in general is a conservative industry, but like any industry we must improve how we do things to remain competitive. For some years now, Metso has been focused on supplying solutions, not just products. We are doing this to make sure that customers receive the most cost-effective solution for their operation that will increase their bottom lines. Moreover, Metso is doubling its investment for R&D to make sure we stay at the forefront when it comes to innovative ways of improving processes in the industry.
Q: What role does Metso want to play in Mexico’s mining industry and how does it plan to achieve it?
A: Mexico is the main mining country in the region for our company. It has modern mining technology that is on par with any country in the world. Our focus for the future is to expand our services and maintain those that have been working for us in recent years. We have some new crushers and grinders that have been successful in other markets that we will implement in Mexico. We will also continue to focus on understanding the local needs of each client. Growth is another key focus for the company, which we expect to be in double digits. The main drivers will be new projects coming into production as well as taking some market share from the competition. This means developing better and more modern equipment for our clients. We are here to make sure companies are improving their operations, lowering their costs and increasing their profits.