Reimagining the Design of Mines Through GeosyntheticsMon, 10/22/2018 - 16:55
Q: As an international company, how is TDM adapting to the needs of the Mexican mining industry?
A: We entered the industry here in 2017 and used to focus solely on mine closures. Our main intervention in the market was to commercialize geomembranes, lixiviation pads and leaching pads, but we realized that there were many companies already providing the same services. TDM additionally found that the market needed more integrated and complex services. This is particularly important in Mexico as the country is also competing with others in North America due to its geographic positioning. We decided to take advantage of the market more intelligently by expanding and offering engineering advice on mine design and planning to complement our commercialization of synthetic products. This change of perspective has been a success so far and we have already signed our first contract of integrated services with Metallorum. We are helping it develop its initial expansion phase. This is our first big project in Mexico and we are competing to acquire other projects in mine design with other large mining companies in the country.
Q: What challenges do miners face in different phases of a project and how can you help solve these issues?
A: We are widening the services we offer the industry to fit the needs in every stage of a project from beginning to end. For example, we are helping start a project in Oaxaca with EPSA. We are additionally helping Metallorum develop haul roads that can withstand the massive heavy-duty machines used in the industry. The equipment needs to be used several times a day and we have engineered solutions that can maximize the performance of these paths. We also provide steel solutions and safety barriers that can keep projects clear from nearby debris. Copper can oxidize tubes in underground mines and we have a spray that can prevent the deterioration. It has a foam-like texture that helps tubes last longer in mines.
We can provide solutions for the mine closure stage as well, which used to be an overlooked part of the lifecycle but is now highly prioritized. Operators know they can no longer leave mines in such a dangerous state. Mines leave gaps in the earth that can cause problems after production is stopped and jeopardizes the wellbeing of surrounding communities. A proper closure can help avoid accidents if in the future a mine is reopened in the same area.
Q: How are you helping optimize production in Peñasquito?
A: We identified many areas of opportunity to optimize the installation of our solutions. At Peñasquito in 2017, we created a customized solution among the operator and all the technicians. We also carried out several field visits and invited experts from Peru to help us draft a budget and another from Chile that specializes in leaching plants. By getting to know the project and the client thoroughly we can provide a precise solution. We are trying to partner with Metallorum to be its main supplier. We are proud of our work at Peñasquito as it is owned by one of the biggest mining groups in the world. We consider ourselves to be partners in all of the projects we work in as we have the same goal as our clients, which is to optimize production and reduce costs.