ADRIAN MARQUEZ

Mexico 2022 | ENERGY | VIP INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Adrian Marquez, Director General of VMX MinePro, about the company's diverse activities, achievements in 2021, and innovation in Mexico.

As a company, you are active in various sectors such as energy, oil, and mining. Which of these is the most prominent?

Mining is the sector that generates over 80% of the company's revenue. In times of economic crisis, investors tend to seek refuge in metals. As a result, we see the price of minerals increasing. For us, as a mineral supplier, this situation works in our favor. Throughout the most difficult months of the pandemic, there were considerations to halt operations. However, taking all things into account, our activity was deemed essential, and we were allowed to continue operating, which was beneficial for us. It meant that we could keep the mining market afloat. Today, companies are focused on getting as much as possible out of their reserves, due to the fact that prices are rising.

Tell us about the mining projects in Mexico you are working on in 2021.

We work with the main mining producers, such as Grupo México, our main client in copper production. The main gold producer is Peñasquito of the Newmont group, and the Peñoles group. In the field of iron ore mining, we are working with Peña Colorada. We work both with large groups and smaller underground mining companies, as well as mining contractors such as Grupo Secopsa. These companies trust us, because we always deliver the best solution, on time, and with great results. Our slogan as a company delivers precisely that message; namely that we want to be an ally for our customers.

We wanted to highlight that you are also exploring mining markets in other countries. What strategies have you employed to expand internationally?

We firmly believe that we must maintain presence in our field of work. This industry is highly demanding. There exist certain rivalries, whereby we aim to remain present at our clients' operations. We are currently working on opening a workshop in Panama, which we expect to be operational in early 2022. This is to be Panama's first large-scale mine, and it therefore requires us to maintain on-site operations in order to ensure the project proceeds well. The size of the components we shall be handling and repairing there is huge, and, of course, operations must run smoothly. At VMX, we take operating as a competitive company very seriously within the field, in the same way we ensure that we are allies to our customers.

Could you tell us about current trends in equipment?

We are partners of several international companies. This includes five companies from Russia, three from India, and various from Germany, Italy, and Spain. This is demonstrative of our willingness to reach all corners of the globe. Thanks to this, we have introduced innovative technology in the way of new equipment offering higher productivity and better cost effectiveness. This equipment has greater durability, and allows us to offer better prices. Our current equipment is continuously maintained by technicians. What it does is to upload data to the cloud. This allows companies to monitor and follow their status in real time. In addition, this allows us to identify actual wear-and-tear, as well as the wear-and-tear tendencies of the machines, in turn allowing us to generate a better plan for the purchase of components. Another new development we are bringing is in-line vibration sensors; these are installed onto the machines so that we can follow their operation and view faults in specific components. This technology helps us to ensure that what we supply to the customer does not fail, and that it delivers the lowest cost per ton produced. It is for this reason that our after-sales service with the latest technology sets us apart from other companies, and the reason it gives us greater credibility with customers. We are also introducing an extra-light truck body from Russia, made of special wear-resistant steel. Despite the fact that it is somewhat more difficult to manage in its welding and assembly, this box increases the load capacity of a conventional truck by almost 20%. We have potentially increased the capacity by 10 tons per load, which translates into about 5,000 tons more over a year.

There are many talented individuals in Mexico, as well as many outstanding engineering faculties that are prominent globally. Also, the country is adapting well to new business models. How does all this affect you?

Over the three years of VMX's operations, we have seen accelerated growth. This is because of everything I have previously described, and also the pioneering Russian, Indian, and European technology we are bringing. What this country previously had was a very closed—yet advanced—market, with the largest steel foundries and high productivity. Despite still having that paradigm, there is a movement towards managing and achieving a more global presence. We, the Mexican people, are beginning to draw from foreign markets, and, at the same time, we are gaining greater presence abroad and in those markets. We are working hard and are making an excellent impression in other countries. The result of this is that more and more of those markets and countries wish to work with us. I strongly believe that the attitude of Mexican and Latin people in general tends to surprise people from other countries. Our energy encourages and motivates many people to collaborate with us. What we currently observe is that we are setting very high goals and meeting those expectations. We have been increasing our sales by 40% compared to the forecast amounts, and are greatly motivated by the atmosphere that the very people within the company generate. Two years ago, we could not have begun to imagine how we would have dealt with the difficulties of the pandemic. Yet in reality, we have continued innovating and supporting our clients in their operations and continued to prosper.