"In general, automation of processes and digitalization are the fastest growing areas in mining. We see very good potential of growth driven by the need of tailor made solutions for each exploration campaign and mining plant, and we are able to efficiently provide for that need."

Tomás Buttazzoni

GENERAL MANAGER, TECHNOSTEEL

July 29, 2020

What is the history of Technosteel, and what services do you provide to the market?

Technosteel was created from a contract to produce exploration rocks for Atlas Copco in the early 2000s. Over the last 10 years, we decided to diversify and, as a result, we created two companies: Polimet, a company that focuses on the design and construction of conveyor belt equipment and its components, and SafeDrill, a technology company that designs and manufactures equipment for exploration. We realized that we needed to dramatically increase the safety for operators in exploration drilling and found that, while the automated feeding of rods into the platform is a challenge that has been faced by several companies around the globe, no one had achieved a 100% hands-free solution over the entire cycle of rod feeding. We took the challenge of creating 100% hands-free technology and we are now close to achieving that goal. We are also focused on reducing the area of the platform, because today mining companies are facing increasing challenges for space available for exploration. Lastly, we have created mud plants that will allow the recovery of mud and will save up to 30% of water consumption on each platform.

Does Technosteel have anything currently in its R&D pipeline?

At Safedrill, we have recently achieved inner tube handling, allowing us reach the 100% hands-free goal in the rod handling operation in drilling. Technosteel is developing a shock absorber for the blasting and drilling process, which is a new model that will allow mines to exchange parts of equipment on-site to streamline the maintenance and repair process. At Polimet, we are working toward making conveyor belt equipment actively send information to an operator to eliminate manual and visual inspections.

Are there other markets where you see opportunity?

We already operate steadily in Peru. The other markets we are looking at in Latin America are Bolivia, Colombia and Panama. Similar to Chile, Bolivia has been developing its mid-size mines.

What are the biggest opportunities for your business, and where are you growing fastest today?

In general, automation of processes and digitalization are the fastest growing areas in mining. We see very good potential of growth driven by the need of tailor made solutions for each exploration campaign and mining plant, and we are able to efficiently provide for that need.

Over the next 2-3 years, what objectives would you like to achieve for Technosteel?

Technosteel would like to become an important player in technology for automation and digitalization in our specific segments and to establish partnerships with global companies to become their local partner for the South American market. We want companies to look to us for customization of drilling platforms, and rods. We also are looking to potentially become an OEM for big brands in the rock drilling segment, in the drilling equipment segment, and with idlers and conveyor belts.

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