"We have been working to incorporate multipurpose equipment with which we can carry out up to three activities almost simultaneously, ostensibly reducing the exposure of our workers and allowing us to cover key positions in any project where there may be difficulties due to the pandemic."
How has JRC Engineering and Construction (JRC) evolved in recent years and why did you decide to change the brand in 2021?
After working on several underground mining projects since 2000, in 2010 we were presented with a great challenge when Sociedad Minera El Brocal, for whom we had been carrying out underground excavation work since 2006, entrusted us with the responsibility of operating the Colquijirca mine comprehensively. This was the beginning of our current business model. Today, we are in charge of four comprehensive operations, among other projects.
In 2019, we entered the Mexican market, where we currently have two projects. That same year, we were awarded, for the first time, an open-pit project. This meant the expansion of our business areas and the beginning of our international expansion. All this has strengthened our company and now we want to project JRC as a global and dynamic brand, taking into account our experience and value in the execution of comprehensive underground mines.
Who are JRC's main clients and what standout underground projects have you worked on?
Among our main operations, we are currently working with Quenuales, from the Glencore Group, both in underground and surface mining activities. We are also present in El Brocal and Chacua with Buenaventura, in Trevali Mining’s Santander mine and in Ticlio for Volcan.
In most of our underground operations, we cover all services, including the extraction and hauling of the material to the processing plant.
How has your experience been in the international market?
We managed to enter Mexico in 2019, and despite the arrival of the pandemic this process did not stop. In a joint effort with the mining company Fresnillo, we did our best to take care of our people. This first expansion allowed us to position ourselves in international markets and gave us the opportunity to look at new opportunities in other markets such as Colombia, Ecuador and India, which are very attractive countries for the mining sector.
How has the company coped with the impact of the pandemic?
When the pandemic began in 2020, our operations in Peru stopped between March and mid-May. In the case of Mexico, operations did not stop. Like all Peruvian companies, we experienced many inconveniences to which, together with our clients, we had to give an immediate response. When a mining project stops, it is not possible to resume actions normally, but rather, it is necessary to restart almost from scratch, and this exacerbates the situation. In addition, we were affected by infections, which had an impact on our work teams. Between September and October of the same year, we operated at 90% of our capacity. Currently, although we are already working at 100%, the pandemic continues to be a daily challenge that we must face in the best way to always take care of our people.
What new technologies have you been working with recently?
The Covid-19 pandemic forced everyone to accelerate their commitment to digital and technological innovation in order to improve efficiency, productivity and cost management. In our case, we work closely with Buenaventura's innovation department, one of our main clients, jointly seeking to incorporate autonomous teams, among other improvement actions. In addition to remote control equipment, with which we have already worked for several years, we have been working to incorporate multipurpose equipment with which we can carry out up to three activities almost simultaneously, ostensibly reducing the exposure of our workers and allowing us to cover key positions in any project where we currently have difficulties due to the pandemic.
What is the company's strategy to increase its market share in the next two years?
With the relaunch of our brand we seek to become a global mining contractor. This year we have ambitious projects, but our main priority is to consolidate our post-pandemic efforts. 2022 should mark an important milestone for JRC, and we should achieve at least two more projects in different countries. In this sense, having the right professionals will be key to accomplishing our goals.