"We set up the biggest and highest tailings pumping facility in the world at Toromocho, erected and commissioned by a 100% Peruvian team."
What are some of the key Peruvian projects the company has been involved in over the last 12 months?
In terms of greenfield projects and expansions, we have been delivering products to the Quellaveco project, working with Marcobre on the maintenance and installation of equipment. We are also working on the Yanacocha Sulfur project, but this project is currently delayed. For the Toromocho expansion, Weir Minerals successfully delivered and commissioned classification and pumping systems. We also set up the biggest and highest tailings pumping facility in the world at Toromocho, erected and commissioned by a 100% Peruvian team. We have also been working on optimization projects for medium and smaller mines where we are doing upgrades to eliminate bottlenecks and increase production.
Additionally, we have been able to close business optimization contracts in recent months with Cerro Verde and Las Bambas. Weir Minerals has a holistic view of the mining process and for us it is not just selling a product, but rather selling a whole solution. Throughout the integration of our products, we try to elevate the value chain of the customer and this approach has been well received by the Peruvian market. Although I believe that some optimization investments will be delayed until after elections, our approach differentiates us in the market, and the current metals prices offer an opportunity.
Are all of Weir Minerals services centers in Peru now operational?
All of Weir Minerals service centers in Lima, Arequipa, Cajamarca, La Oroya and Espinar are now open and running. The opening of our new service center in Moquegua was delayed due to the pandemic, but we have restarted the process, are about to sign the paperwork with the owners, and expect this center to open in Q3 2021. We are working closely with Anglo American to set up our business in Moquegua to ensure we support the starting operation at Quellaveco.
Can you tell us about some of Weir Minerals latest technologies that help with metal recovery?
Weir Minerals has been investing in the R&D of technologies for the transition to Industry 4.0 in mining, such as our Synertrex platform. Synertrex is a control and data collection system that obtains on-site equipment information, such as how different equipment interacts in the process and product efficiency. Collected data is then analyzed by our experts to optimize the performance of the entire circuit in real time. This can be done remotely due to the virtual and digital tools we have available now, which results in significant cost savings for the customer.
We also recently released the second version of Weir Minerals Hydrociclones Cavex 2 product, which marks a new era in separation technology. The Cavex 2 allows customers to process more and have a better particle size cut, but with the same footprint as the original Cavex. The better you can classify in a mill circuit, the better recovery you will have, maximizing profits. This product has been very successful in projects around the world and is now being tested on projects in Peru.
As the vice president of Women in Mining (WiM) Peru, how much have you seen diversity improve in recent years?
Diversity in the mining industry has not improved much, illustrated by the fact that over the past 10 years women have only represented around 6% of our industry. During the pandemic, two out of every three jobs lost were by women, as they had to take on more household responsibilities and were more likely to have to look after children than men.
On the other hand, as an underlying tendency, I have noticed a real purpose from industry to become more diverse. Many mines are joining associations to learn what diversity means and to start the process of implementing policies and strategies to encourage more diverse participation in their organizations. Nexa Resources are leading the trend towards diversity in the mining industry, and they even have campaigns to educate their suppliers in this regard. Other mining players advocating diversity include Newmont Yanacocha, Gold Fields, Quellaveco, Las Bambas, Cerro Verde, Constancia, Hochschild amongst others. I really believe, and it has been proven, the only way in which diversity can be achieved is when the initiatives come from the top down.