How has COVID-19 impacted your business model?
The mining industry in Mexico was not declared essential at the beginning of lockdown, so that had an impact on our mining solution business. At the same time, we were able to prepare, as we have other operations that are focused on the chemical industry. We continue to operate in other sites, and we used this crisis as an opportunity to prepare ourselves for future developments. There were some changes in some procedures, especially in the material delivery and how we take care of our personnel. We are working on that hand-in-hand with our customers. We want to help them succeed—that is our reality. There are positive prospects for the mining industry in the future. Companies need to be able to operate—that is the most important thing. We expect some recovery and hope to maximize operations based on the capabilities of each of our customers.
How have your priorities and goals changed when it comes to sales?
Our main priorities are our employees and the needs of our customers. We are making sure that our employees stay healthy and follow all the correct protocols. We are also supporting our customers in this new normal. Our customers face many challenges, and we need to come up with processes and protocols to not only support them but also make sure they are also being taken care of. We are taking the current crisis month by month, but the center of everything remains making sure we are doing our best for our employees and customers.
What are the latest developments regarding your plant in Laguna?
According to the latest ruling from the Supreme Court, the situation was in our favor, but we are still waiting. COVID-19 has slowed things down, and not all the different tribunals are open. We still have to go through some legal cases. It is important for us to work with our communities and socialize this project with them. We have two fronts: the legal front, which will be resolved in our favor; and having the right to operate through community approval. This is a really important period for these projects. They make great sense as we will bring a great deal of employment and investment to the region at a time when Mexico needs it—the economic impact will be huge after COVID-19.
What are your main plans when it comes to increasing your presence in Latin America?
It is really important to be close to our customers and serve them correctly. We continuously work on this aspect, and this has been our philosophy over time. We have been mostly focusing on markets in the Americas. We are also having interactions with our global markets as well. That will continue to be our focus.
What are the advantages of investing in the mining industry in comparison to other sectors?
The safe haven for everybody when there is a great deal of uncertainty is precious metals.
Investors will need to look for sectors that are more efficient. In the next few years, the mining industry will have a really positive outlook in terms of growth, and more projects will come.
What is your perspective on the actions being taken by the public sector for the mining industry?
The approach has been excellent. The Undersecretary of Mining has formed a taskforce for many mining companies to work together and develop protocols. Having the undersecretary personally go to each one of the sites to review the protocols set a positive example. Companies are also committed to the business and their employees, and although there are different protocols, the objective is to keep their employees safe and continue their operations. This is an industry that is committed to safety due to the nature of the industry, and the current pandemic has pushed us to continue in the same way. Mining companies are a great asset to invest in. At Chemours, we are focused on our clients' needs and we will make sure every client is able to optimize its production.