"We are confident that our experience in integral solutions in underground mining and the fact that we already have developed our business processes in the country will support the technical needs of current and new operations."
Can you describe INCIMMET’s history in Colombia, including work at Mina Buriticá for Continental Gold?
Our experience in Colombia started in 1995 when we worked for MINEROS NACIONALES at Marmato mine where we accomplished the engineering, the assembly, and the operation on the mine backfill plant. We worked with them in the change of the mine exploitation method, from shrinkage to cut and fill, increasing the ore production considerably. Then, in 2007, we worked for FRONTINO GOLD MINES at Providencia mine doing the engineering for the mine backfill plant. Finally, in 2017, because of our strategic plan, we decided to explore more business opportunities in Colombia establishing a branch office in Medellin. That is how we reached Continental Gold and we participated in the tender for vertical excavation for Buriticá project in 2017, which we won in early 2018. In Buriticá we reached a milestone in the Colombian mining market, constructing a 4.1 meters diameter and 310 meters depth ventilation shaft. This ventilation shaft is the first one in Colombia and one of the very few in the region. This year we will be finishing five shafts in total for Buriticá with a complete solution of civil works and rock support. We are confident that we will be remain the preferred contractor for mechanized vertical excavation for Continental Gold in Buriticá.
INCIMMET recently signed a new strategic partnership with FURA in Colombia. What type of mine development will you be doing at the Coscuez emerald mine?
Our contract is mostly ramps for mine development, around 450 meters per month, but we will also construct vertical shafts and will do the material and waste hauling. We already completed the purchase of the fleet, spare parts and consumables, as well as the hiring process for the labor force.
Can you elaborate on INCIMMET’s safety culture and approach to different safety aspects?
Our cultural approach to safety is to “walk the talk” and I will underline a couple of examples. This year we reached an important milestone in our work to enhance our corporate culture in safety. We did a DuPont assessment and according to their evaluation we improved our corporate safety culture 26% compared to 2019 assessment, and 54% compared to 2018 assessment. On the other hand, this year, and for the second time in a row, we were a finalist in a safety contest. This safety contest is an international one where we won the first place in 2018. Finally, this year we were recognized as the best contractor in designing and implementing engineering controls in our NEXA - Cerro Lindo project. This is how we show how we “walk the talk”.
How does INCIMMET utilize new technology to increasing productivity and reduce costs at mining operations?
To increase productivity and reduce costs, as a contractor, we must be very perceptive about the hidden problems that our clients have. It sounds easy but it is not. We work arduously to identify these hidden problems and bottlenecks of our client’s operations with our own methodology of innovation and continuous improvement and our almost thirty years of experience in mine operations. Having identified the bottlenecks it is easier for us to choose the best technology available to boost productivity and reduce the overall cost.
What would you like to achieve in Colombia in the next three years?
We want the mining companies in Colombia to consider us an alternative in underground mining operations. We are confident that our experience in integral solutions in underground mining and the fact that we already have developed our business processes in the country will support the technical needs of current and new operations. We foresee that Colombia could represent at least 30% of the total revenue in the next three years with a strong presence in the strategic mining projects of the country. For this to happen, we are activating the country manager position in Colombia. We are promoting our current underground mining business unit manager who knows the company and the market very well. He will start his duties in Colombia in March 2021.