Fernando Barrio, General Manager,

TECNOMINA

"We are getting increasingly involved in preventive maintenance, using high-tech equipment to evaluate the condition of conveyor belts, including dynamic radiographic equipment, ultrasound sensor equipment, and scanning equipment. This technology can be used while the conveyor is in movement, which is a great advantage."

How did Tecnomina manage to increase revenues in 2020 despite the impact of the pandemic?

The pandemic had a great impact on Tecnomina´s service supply because the qualified workforce, which was already quite limited in Peru, faced the issue of quarantine and mobility restrictions. This reduced our capability to meet our clients´ demands. Despite this, we managed to mitigate the negative impacts through agreements with our collaborators to remain in the field for prolonged periods of time in order to reduce workforce turnover and trips as much as possible. Regarding product supply, Tecnomina had the necessary stock to meet our clients´ needs. We did have certain problems with imports, as there were vessel restrictions due to the pandemic, but this did not reduce our company´s revenues; in fact, we managed to increase our earnings by almost 3% compared to 2019.

Our rise in earnings came, first, from the sale of Sempertrans conveyor belts for Las Bambas, second, from the sale of cleaning systems from Rema Tip Top to companies such as Las Bambas, Cerro Verde, and Antapaccay, and third, from the sustained sale of our traditional products, and finally, from the provision of services to important clients such as Southern Peru Cuajone, who demanded a seven-month service for the maintenance of conveyor belts.

Can you explain the benefits of the products Tecnomina works with?

Rema Tip Top has a range of first-class products for everything related to the reparation and maintenance of conveyor belts and, since 1970, it also has another unit for anti-wear, anti-corrosive and anti-abrasive coatings. For many years, Rema Tip Top had focused on products such as rubber, glue, tools, etc., but in 2000, with the Antamina and Yanacocha projects, we grew significantly in the service area. Another line of business of Rema Tip Top is in the automotive sector, specifically in tire repair. Apart from that, since their acquisition of the Dunlop unit in South Africa, Rema Tip Top also sells conveyor belts, and we are collaborating with them in this area of business.

However, Tecnomina is also an agent for other companies such as Sempertrans, a European brand that manufactures first-class girdles. We are also in contact with Chinese companies that supply conveyor belt-related products for a middle market. In summary, we have a wide range of suppliers to adapt to the specific demands of each market.

Can you elaborate on Tecnomina’s work with Antamina regarding conveyor belts?

Tecnomina has been working with Antamina for over 20 years in everything related to conveyors, and in 2021, we continue to collaborate with Antamina, recently changing their overland conveyor. We managed to carry out this project very successfully, in 107 h 50 min, 08 hours less than expected. Now, we have a new tender for Antamina ahead of us for an expansion project involving large-scale overland conveyor splices

Can you explain Tecnomina’s focus on innovative solutions such as preventive maintenance?

Tecnomina is developing a plan to acquire new equipment to complement the stock of equipment we already have to better meet the demand of our clients: we aim to provide them with a diagnosis and offer them a customized solution. We are getting increasingly involved in preventive maintenance, using high-tech equipment to evaluate the condition of conveyor belts, including dynamic radiographic equipment, ultrasound sensor equipment, and scanning equipment. This technology can be used while the conveyor is in movement, which is a great advantage.

What is your outlook for Peru’s mining industry in 2021?

The mining industry is showing itself as the key pillar of Peru’s economy, despite social conflicts. Mining companies have been providing support to remote communities during the pandemic through oxygen donation and other social initiatives. We are now very close to the country´s general election, and we still do not know who will be elected. We are concerned that the candidates have not been giving the necessary importance to mining in their initial discourse

Considering the current situation, and the importance of social distancing, how to you plan to stay close to clients?

The provision of services is what keeps us close to our clients, and unfortunately, we currently cannot go physically to the field. Even if restrictions are progressively lifted, it is going to take at least two years for everything to go back to normal. Therefore, we must take full advantage of virtual solutions to stay close to clients. Communication on various fronts is key in such situations.

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