How would you describe the impact of 2020 on Robocon?

2020 was a challenging year for us, as it was for many businesses in Peru. Due to the enforced lockdown, we had to pause our operations for three months. However, we adapted to the new situation by implementing new protocols such as working from home and stricter sanitary measures. Fortunately, as of February 2021, we have returned to pre-pandemic production rates. We noticed demand increases in Q4 2020 related to base and precious metals price increases and our clients’ needs to ramp up production. We believe that the companies with the strongest backbones are able to surpass difficult times and come out stronger.

Can you tell us about some of the main projects Robocon has worked on in the last two years?

Our projects typically have long timeframes and we retain the majority of our partners, focusing on recurring business for key clients such as Pan American Silver and Buenaventura. Despite challenges to supply chains and temporary closures, we have been able to produce positive results. For example, the mechanization of shotcrete in small tunnels, merging from dry to wet shotcrete, remains in high demand as a service working with the mine or integrated with a contractor. At Pan American Silver’s Huarón and Moroccan mines, we are utilizing robotics for tunnel construction. These projects require large investments and we have faced some challenges related to health protocol procedures and closures. Nevertheless, we are determined to move ahead and 2021 has started on a positive note.

How do new innovations in the shotcrete market, such as laser technology, benefit Robocon and its clients?

Introduction of laser technology has been an important focus for us. We specialize in the operation of small machinery and laser technology is an excellent complement to this. Wet shotcrete technology offers considerable benefits in terms of safety and speed, regardless of the operation’s size. In robotics-led operations, risk is minimized and efficiency is increased. Speed of processes is key, especially for mines that rely on small tunnels, because it can contribute directly to profitability. Laser technology also optimizes operations because it determines the best processes for a given volume and area; it also helps verify the correct width of drilling.

How is Robocon becoming a more vertically integrated business to better serve clients?

We offer the provision of all the services related to shotcrete, including transporting materials, implementation, construction, and maintenance. This allows us to have a bigger impact. We also partner with other service providers to ensure our partners have a seamless experience. Finally, Robocon offers training services for operators, extending the high standards of quality that characterize our workers to third parties. We want to become a point of reference for shotcrete in Latin America. An important area where we collaborate with clients is in the monitoring of tunnels, as well as in material consulting. Robocon offers pre-manufactured equipment and maintenance services.

Which jurisdictions outside of Peru do you see as having high potential for growth?

We are focused on three markets outside of Peru: Mexico, Colombia, and Chile. Bolivia has interesting geological potential, but due to the political context, it is more challenging. For us, business development is determined by where our clients choose to take us. For example, Pan American Silver wants us to work in their Mexican operations, and long-term relationships with international mining companies will lead to opportunities further afield.

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