There is an endless series of bottlenecks that need to be negotiated when moving a project from the development phase into construction and production. To reach commercial production at El Limon-Guajes, we first needed to ensure that the grinding circuit was functioning efficiently, which we managed without too much difficulty. Then we needed to test the leach circuit and figure out how to deal with the large quantity of copper in the deposit. We are now working on the final major obstacle, which is the tailings filtration circuit. We have installed the biggest tailings filtration circuit in the world at the plant and the system not only enables us to recycle all the water we use but also eliminates the risk of any tailings spilling into the Balsas River and increases the efficiency of our land usage. But it is a complex mechanism so we have been working through a number of details to ensure that the operation works to its full capacity.
There is a lot of geopolitical uncertainty around the world at the moment and that could have varying effects on the industry. We cannot influence the commodity price so we must focus on controlling the factors that we can. One of the positive outcomes of the downturn is that mining companies have now become more streamlined and more disciplined in terms of their capital spending.
Innovation is of course a major issue because I believe the mining sector lags behind other industries in that regard and it is essential for the sector to strive to develop new technologies.