Can you provide more details about the ME Elecmetal solutions that were in high demand in South America in 2021, and explain the company’s involvement in Teck’s QB2 and Antofagasta’s INCO project?

Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and rising costs, ME Elecmetal had a highly successful year in South America in 2021. Our growth was significant in almost every line, but especially in mill liners, grinding media, crushing parts, and GET. When it comes to the QB2 and INCO projects, these are two pivotal projects for the mining industry’s growth in Chile, and ME Elecmetal has been involved from the start.

In both cases, we proposed to AMSA and Teck that we perform an optimization process of the mill liners designed for the specific processes of each operation so that new equipment could be installed ready to use. By doing this, we expect that our clients will be able to achieve a smooth ramp-up of their mills and equipment because they will start with liners designed specifically for those environments. This is unlike what is usually done, where standard mill liners are installed by the OEMS without taking into account for the distinctive features of the projects.

What sets ME Elecmetal apart in the provision of solutions to the mining industry?

At ME Elecmetal, we don’t just focus on manufacturing excellent spare parts and liners, but we also consider the interaction of that component with the mill, crusher, equipment, the way they operate, and the impact that will have on the tonnes per hour the mill or the crusher will yield and/or in the mineral recovery. We have prioritized learning about mineral processing and, from that understanding, complementing our capacities with the equipment of manufacturing, maintenance, and metallurgy of the mines to create the combination of solutions with the best performance.

How do ME Elecmetal’s solutions reduce downtime and increase productivity?

At ME Elecmetal, our first priority is to prevent failure by delivering reliable and safe equipment. Secondly, we aim to reduce downtime for maintenance. For this purpose, we have increased the size of spare parts so that instead of changing 300 hundred pieces, for instance, only 150 need to be changed, thus reducing the time of installation. We also provide a service of maintenance monitoring in which we follow up the micro and macro times to spot improvement opportunities. Furthermore, we continually update the design of our liners because downtime is one issue, but productivity is a whole other thing. For productivity, we have found strategies to customize the lining profiles both for crushing and milling to achieve a better interaction between the milling balls and mill liners.

How is ME Elecmetal incorporating digitalization into its solutions?

ME Elecmetal has been incorporating digitalization into our solutions as it has brought up opportunities to capture a lot more information on what is happening both in crushing and milling, both in the mine with the shovels and the elements we provide. We have been able to analyze the data to make improvements in products and services. Our ME digital lab has helped us implement solutions such as extending the use of laser and the Digital Twin. We have also integrated a significant number of sensors to send valuable information about what is happening inside the mill.

What are the main themes that you see impacting Chile’s mining sector?

In terms of themes that impact Chile’s mining sector, we are seeing a change in mindset regarding climate change. We have had many conversations with large mining operations, and we are joining the sustainability strategy that mining is taking as an industry. We intend to make commitments to reduce our carbon footprint, incentivize circular economy processes, and help solve waste problems in mines.

You may also be interested in...