Ian Venero, General Manager,

MDH

"Clients have been asking us for more deep drilling of 1,500 to 1,800 m, for which larger and more powerful equipment is needed, as well as very experienced personnel."

Can you provide a brief background of MDH’s activities in Peru in recent years?

MDH continues to be one of the main drilling companies in Peru. We have experienced significant growth throughout the years, but this growth slowed down between March and June 2020 due to the pandemic and the severe restrictions. Since then, the situation has stabilized but we continue to experience challenges such as greater costs, delays and new protocols. However, since the beginning of 2021 we have been well prepared; we have internal protocols in place to protect our workers and our clients have implemented external protocols. This year, we expect to reach a similar level to that of 2019 in terms of earnings and contracts, or even improve it.

Can you tell us about MDH’s recent clients and key projects you have been working on?

Our company is currently working on Hoschild Mining’s main mining projects in Inmaculada, Pallancata and Arcata, as well as on some of their greenfield projects. We are also working on IAMGOLD’s greenfield Los Tambos project, and with Bear Creek’s Corani project, which will hopefully come into construction in 2021. We are also working for Sierra Metals with Minera Corona and at Larena with Barrick.

What kind of technology and equipment has MDH recently introduced?

There has been growing demand for automated solutions due to the pandemic, but only among large mining companies. Therefore, we have been implementing equipment and technology that reduces human interaction with machines, as well as equipment that increases safety and reduces risks. For example, we have introduced anti-impact gloves with special protection to reduce the risk of accidents for the workers’ hands. We have manufactured special equipment for handling pipelines and internal tools, we use anti-sleep clocks and GPS tools to follow the transfer of personnel, tools and equipment.

What trends are you observing for your drilling services and for exploration?

Clients are becoming increasingly concerned with safety and environmental protection. On the technical side, clients have been asking us for more deep drilling of 1,500 to 1,800 m, for which larger and more powerful equipment is needed, as well as very experienced personnel. In terms of exploration, large mining companies in Peru are making substantial investments in brownfield and greenfield projects, which represents a great growth opportunity for our company, especially if metal prices continue to go up. We currently see more potential in brownfield exploration, as there are restrictions to open new projects in different areas due to permitting and social issues, so mining companies are trying to grow inside their units and extend the life of their mines.

Can you explain the company's commitment to quality and what sets you apart from your competitors?

MDH was the first drilling company in Peru and currently has over 50 years’ experience in the market, making us the most reliable option. We are also a drilling school and have trained the country’s best drillers. In 1994, a joint venture was created between MDH and Bradley Group, and since then our company has been trained and supervised by Canadian drillers and has used Canadian technology. From that moment onwards, our company has experienced exponential growth and we have not stopped investing in equipment, technology, safety, environmental care, social responsibility and training. Finally, clients are our utmost priority, so we do not limit our resources when providing services for them.

What are MDH’s goals in the medium term, and the company’s internationalization strategy?

We aim to grow under our traditional guidelines, the ones that have been promoted by our director of engineering, Guido Del Castillo, since the beginning. In terms of future investment, we will continue acquiring high-end technology to carry out different types of drilling and we expect sonic drilling to become more important. We also expect to develop our area of consulting for the mining industry.

MDH began its internationalization process in 2019 with a project at the San José Mine in Argentina. The pandemic slowed down this process in 2020, but our aim this year is to evaluate countries with good potential and to continue our growth in Latin America.

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