Luis Palenque, President & Managing Director – Andean Region,


"3M has a very strong innovation culture, and we invest more than 6% of the company’s global income into this space, which represents over US$2 billion per year."

How has the demand for 3M’s consumables been impacted by the pandemic, and how have you dealt with the supply chain issues to meet this demand?

The demand for consumables, such as PPE, has been so high that it has been a challenge to supply the quantity required. At first, our attention was focused on the healthcare industry, but we are now able to support mining clients in their requirements. We have also seen an increase in demand for maintenance and hope to see the demand for infrastructure return to the market shortly.

3M is now in a better position than it was a year ago with respect to managing our distribution chain and prioritizing industrial services. There is still a constraint on overall PPE supply as demand remains very high, but we have adapted to this increased demand and invested in tripling our production capacity.

Which products is 3M supplying to Mina Justa and Quellaveco?

3M is involved in the full lifecycle of mining projects, from exploration and implementation, through to construction and production, and we work closely with clients to supply them with solutions. For Mina Justa and Quellaveco, we have been specifically involved in delivering electrical solutions for connectivity and energy. We have also provided PPE and system protection solutions to keep the large workforces at these operations safe.

Considering the current lack of major greenfield projects set to move into construction after Quellaveco, how can service companies increase their presence in Peru’s mining market?

We increase our market presence by having a diverse portfolio of solutions. For example, maintenance services are very necessary, and there will be potential for brownfield expansions on existing projects, particularly due to high metals prices.

Peru is in the middle of an election period which is delaying investments, but the prospectivity is still there and I believe that we will be see increased investment into mining projects when political stability returns. New technologies that add value to mining operations is another area of growth, and 3M will continue contributing to the mining market through new innovations.

Can you elaborate on 3M's culture of innovation?

3M has a very strong innovation culture, and we invest more than 6% of the company’s global income into this space, which represents over US$2 billion per year. We can also leverage the expertise and experience of being a multinational company, as there are many similarities in mining projects around the world. Challenges are shared with 3M’s global technical innovation centers as to see how the experience gained in one project can benefit others. Our open innovation strategy allows us to quickly move forward in customizing and delivering the best possible solutions to our customers, and we also partner with companies to develop innovative solutions for the mining industry. The environment we are currently operating in keeps challenging us to continue innovating – it has and will remain a priority for 3M.

How does 3M design its products with sustainability in mind?

Sustainability has always been one of 3M’s key focus areas and we have established a culture of sustainability and today it is fundamental to our philosophy and how we run our business. Some of the changes made include migrating our portfolios and solutions to digital platforms. Even as a customer, we select suppliers and companies based upon how sustainable they are. We are also focused on helping customers become more sustainable and have made great progress in the areas of solar energy and water purification and filtration. In this sense, at the beginning of 2019, 3M announced that each product developed must comply with the Sustainable Value Commitment, which includes reuse, recyclability, energy savings, waste reduction, water savings, responsible sourcing and the use of renewable materials appropriate for each specific product.

Finally, I would like to highlight that 3M’s sustainability strategy is moving forward and is including new objectives, including to achieve 30% less carbon emissions within the next 10 years, zero-carbon footprint by 2050 and 30% less water consumption by 2030. To help achieve this, the company has already invested US$1 billion towards reaching our sustainability goals.