"When we talk about automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, there really is not an option to not participate. Businesses will have to accept adoption as a cost of being in the marketplace."
What is the history of McLanahan in Chile?
CK: We selected Chile because it has a strong history in mining and minerals, good infrastructure and highly technically skilled workers. Also, Australia and Chile share a strong connection through their minerals technology, and there is a free trade agreement, which increases ease of doing business in the Chilean market. Growing our capability in Chile ultimately gives us a foothold into the Latin American region from which we could potentially expand to other countries.
JP: We serve the broader Latin American market. The idea is to produce equipment in Chile and that is our main challenge for the next two years. Since 2015, having our own service capability has meant that we can develop a direct sales model within the country that provides greater support to our customers both in Chile and in the broader region.
Can you give us an example of how McLanahan’s equipment is suitable for Chilean mining conditions?
CK: We intend to grow McLanahan’s dry processing brand recognition and it will be supported through low-cost manufacturing. Currently there is more opportunity in wet processing and our team in Chile has particular expertise in sampling and wet processing.
What is driving the demand for McLanahan’s sampling systems in South America?
JP: The Chile team also has in-house capability for design and service. Having new focus on engineered for spec sampling systems has improved outcomes for clients. We distinguish ourselves by understanding the clients’ processes and understanding the engineering design of how to put a sampling system together to an iso-spec.
Can you elaborate on McLanahan’s acquisition of Anaconda?
CK: In minerals, every deposit is unique and has a different process to evaluate. The Anaconda acquisition can be valuable in places like Peru where you have many SME’s that don’t have the cash reserves that big players do. They are looking for things like in-pit mobile modular systems that allow them to get into their resource and deliver cash-flow and value. Or they have a smaller, more complicated reserve that does not lend itself to large infrastructure. So low cost modular track mounted equipment suits smaller players well.
To what extent would you say Chilean mining companies are receptive to new technology?
CK: Adoption of innovation and automation in Chile is a massively important topic. In our research we read a lot about Chile wanting to be lower cost in order to increase competitiveness. When we talk about automation, artificial intelligence, robotics, there really is not an option to not participate. Businesses will have to accept adoption as a cost of being in the marketplace.
Looking at the larger picture, the 4th industrial revolution will be about how we deliver greater productivity. That means lower energy, labor costs, much lower transport. This plays into electric instead of diesel trucks, robotics instead of humans, smart conveyers instead of trains and tracks. That plays right into where Chile wants to be as a low cost producer. They do not have an option not to go that way. Manufacturers must make sure we can deliver as many sensors as possible and as much condition monitoring technology as possible to be able to feed that into the market. They will not want to pay for this tech but, in order to be globally competitive, they will have to adopt these technologies.
Do you have a final message for the audience of Global Business Reports and Expomin 2020?
JP: McLanahan works together with customers at the beginning of a project. The company has extensive international experience in servicing the mining market, the best quality tools and equipment, as well as a competitive price point and top quality US and Australian manufacturing standards. McLanahan needs to build brand recognition in South America. Our key focus is to connect the Mclanahan brand strongly in Chile with the technological capabilities that the group possesses.
CK: You do not get to stay in this market unless you are capable of collaboration with your customers, unless you are able to support them closely, and unless you are bringing the newest and most cutting edge technology to the marketplace.