Engineering & Mining Journal

AUG 2018

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www.e-mj.com E&MJ • AUGUST 2018 79 MINING IN PERU fices brought together their diverse range of expertise in a bid to not only survive, but grow. Companies merged, and regional offic- es began to collaborate more. Hatch not only pushed for synergy between its Chile and Peru offices, but also acquired Indisa in Co- lombia. Meanwhile, WSP entered the South American market aggressively with three important acquisitions: Schlumberger Water Services, Poch (Chile) and ConCol (Colom- bia). Also, last year SNC-Lavalin completed the acquisition of Atkins, an 18,000-people strong consultancy firm with a reputation for its digital engineering innovation capabilities. On a smaller scale, SRK Consulting is now using the team from the former Mine Ventila- tion Services (MVS), a company it acquired in California, to carry out all the work related to ventilation in Peru's underground mines. "We are bringing a lot of expertise from this company," said Antonio Samaniego of SRK. "In Peru, you have some small ventilation companies, but through MVS we have expo- sure to much deeper mines from Canada and South Africa." Water and tailings Water is often looked at for its socio-environ- mental implications but the truth is that, be- yond these key components, water sourcing costs can make projects uneconomic. Ac- cording to Eduardo Ruiz, general manager of Amphos21, the first thing companies should understand is the way the whole water cycle works in the operation: "The water resource is increasingly scarce, so you need to look at opportunities to be more efficient: how you can use less water, how you can reuse more water, how you can stop polluting water." "Often, you see companies that treat the effluent water after the operation and then dispose of it, while at the same time they pay their water rights to extract fresh water. In those cases, it would be easier, and cer- tainly cheaper, to recirculate the water in the operation instead," added Ruiz. With regard to tailings, Denys Parra of Anddes pointed out that, while Peru has not had any major dam disaster like the one in Samarco in 2015, the industry needs to raise the bar: "A tailings dam failure is al- ways terrible news, no matter if it is a small leak. The effect on the mining industry's rep- utation is very important. We have recently seen dam failures in Australia and Canada, countries meant to have the highest stan- dards. This is not acceptable," he said. One of the challenges presented by tail- ings management is the large volumes that need to be handled. New environmentally- friendly technologies are yet to prove an economic case for the larger operators. Ac- cording to Gustavo Bravo, Latin America leader for Mine Waste at Golder: "In the future, filtered tailings will be the solu- tion for the issue of mining waste in larger operations, but globally there is still not a great deal of experience in processing and filtering large volumes. I think there will be a natural process of maturity for the tech- nology to reach the point in which it is a more viable solution." Contractors-in-waiting Similar to what happened in the engineering spectrum, a number of contractors diversi- fied their portfolio of services during the cri- sis, while also focusing on reducing operat- ing expenses to improve cash flow. OHL, which arrived in the mining sector in 2012, has expanded its range of action. "In the past, the market probably saw OHL as a company focused on earthmoving, but we can do much more than that. For ex- ample, we are currently executing three tail- ings dams' contracts, none of which are for earthmoving," said Martín Fernández, min- ing manager Latin America at OHL. The company's mining clients in Peru include Antamina, Las Bambas, Tahoe Re- sources and Anglo American. Ricardo Vega, president of OHL in Peru, highlighted that mining generated 77% of OHL's construc- tion revenue in the country last year. As an example of OHL's capabilities in value-added services, the company recently completed an EPC project for the crushing, agglomeration and transportation facility for Tahoe Resourc- es' Shahuindo project in Cajamarca. "Thanks to OHL's procurement capabilities, we can adapt the crushing systems, conveyor belts and grasshoppers very well to the needs of the client. It is a tailor-made solution," said Vega. STRACON, until recently part of the Graña y Montero Group, has started a new phase under new shareholders, namely Ash- more Group and Steve Dixon, the company's CEO. Dixon affirmed that the recent transac- Eduardo Ruiz, general manager, Amphos21.

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