"The environment is a key topic in Chile today. It has slowed the development of large projects, and the community is more aware of the impact of mining activities now."
What is the core focus of Ingenalse and what services do you bring to the Chilean market?
We are focused on segmentation, flotation, filtering and tailings treatment. We have a specialized team of electronic engineers, mechanics and service engineers. We have two three-year maintenance contracts for all of Anglo American’s mineral thickeners in Chile and we have an additional contract at Chuquicamata for tailings thickeners. Currently, we are updating and repairing Division Ministro Hales’ thickeners. Ingenalse has 15 years of experience in the country and we recently opened offices in the south of Chile to gain market share in the water treatment sector.
What opportunities are there in Chile regarding tailings?
Ingenalse has been working for 10 years at Minera Valle Central where the tailings of El Teniente mine are being treated. The fresh tailings that the mine throws away are reprocessed in Minera Valle Central and the tailings gutter is squeezed out.
We are participating in mining flotation projects at Chuquicamata and Candelaria and we have just been awarded a contract to make improvements in flotation cells at Tranque Las Tortolas for Anglo American.
Which of Ingenalse’s services have been most in demand in 2019?
We work with large companies directly. We have repaired Centinela’s thickeners. We have also repaired and updated some thickeners in Division Ministro Hales. Ingenalse has worked on developing its own thickeners this year and they have already been installed in Chuquicamata.
What have the biggest changes been in terms of technology and sustainability being incorporated into the mines?
The big changes have been mostly electronic. There have not been many mechanical or structural changes in recent years. What was done 30 years ago is still being done, but the control has been improved.
How is being a local company an advantage in the Chile?
We are a small company competing with large international companies. We have the experience and we are cheaper and faster. We have integrators that incorporate the control panels and structural engineers who are dedicated specifically to mining in Chile. That is what sets us apart from other companies. We have a group of engineers who have worked together for many years. We have the recognition of the international market and that is why we are competitive against large companies. We have also developed and patented our own equipment that leads to process improvements. Ingenalse has a lot of experience in the mining sector and we have an intimate understanding of how the mines work.
Ingenalse helps mining companies boost their productivity and lower their costs because the development time of our projects is less than with other companies. We are experts in our field and we deliver improvements in recovery, flotation and the optimization of resources for clients. The requirements of each mining company are different and engineering solutions should not be duplicated. We provide specialized solutions.
What is your view on Chile as a mining jurisdiction today?
The environment is a key topic in Chile today. It has slowed the development of large projects, and the community is more aware of the impact of mining activities now. Legislation is slow because there are people who want to take advantage of the natural resources, the towns and the people. The environment in Chile is a challenge because the legislation is not very clear. The government is taking actions to improve the environmental impact of mining. Government Environmental Commissions were formed so that Chile will have a clearer environmental policy within a year.
What are the biggest opportunities to grow Ingenalse moving forward?
Ingenalse’s focus is in the water sector as it is very important for mining. Therefore, our teams must be able to recover and reuse more water. We would like to be part of a great company. The opportunities we have today are very good, but we could grow more if we had more support. This support may come from Chile or other countries.