The adage that everything not grown must be mined suggests how essential the mining industry is to everyday life. Given its vital role in modern civilization, mining requires an intricate supply chain whose multiple links ensure that all other industries receive the minerals they need to flourish.
But a successful supply chain is a world of its own. To thrive, it must meet the industry’s needs, from incorporating new innovations and ensuring timely and safe deliveries regardless of how remote the mine is to working 24/7, just to mention a few. To better understand the complexities of the Mexican mining supply chain, Mexico Mining Review spoke to some of its key links for direct insight into what they are doing to make a difference.
Director of DICISA
The mining industry represents particular challenges due to its locations and demanding operations, and the goal is to optimize production and reduce costs. The supply chain has to be aligned to these needs and this is our role and the value we provide. We provide advice, technical support and reliable delivery service.
We have to adapt and take advantage of the new technologies that emerge, such as Industry 4.0 or IoT. Our role as a channel supplier is to incorporate manufacturers’ innovations into our customers daily operations. DICISA also acts as a logistics partner as our value relies on timely delivery, so we also have to adapt and use these new technologies to improve our supply chain management.
Senior Director Latin America of Brink’s
Mexico is the No. 1 exporter of silver ore in the world, a market expected to grow to US$17.8 billion by 2020, mainly driven by an increase in gold exports. Due to the market’s size, we continue to invest in equipment and resources along with a fully dedicated team of supply chain experts who focus on multimodal transportation of precious metals from Mexico to various parts of the world. The shipment flows are toward Canada, the US and Switzerland, where we also have our own infrastructure to provide our customers with door-to-door services.
The market pressure and client demand drive our teams to be creative when managing their supply chain. We are constantly searching for new airfreight partners and routes that can improve transit times. We know there is a need for a competitive logistics cost, yet the risk of transporting valuable cargo remains high in the country, so Brink’s keeps adapting, but we cannot cut corners, which would put our people and cargo at risk. Our solution is to leverage our carrier network, adhere to our internal security procedures and ensure we keep clients’ products safe until delivery.
JOSÉ ANTONIO BERLANGA
General Manager Mexico of Mercuria
In terms of commercialization, Mexico has good practices. The market has become more open and has incorporated international standards. Previously, the market was quite closed and mostly overseen by the large Mexican operators that internally commercialized their products. But as there are more companies in the industry, new opportunities for traders have opened up. There used to be little space for traders. Some companies may want to save money by trading their products themselves but they have to realize that we do much more than buy and sell material. We also provide solutions and offer expertise in terms of logistics and even taxes. The return of tax money is a big issue in Mexico that can take several years. Our company offers to take over these matters in the supply chain.
Industrial Sales Director at SFK Mexico
Miners can be reluctant to adopt new technologies, which often causes the industry to overuse their equipment. Our strategy is to work closely with mine operators so they can realize the benefits of new technologies. We analyze operators’ problems and seek solutions together. We place our human talent as close as possible to our customers, working with them at mine sites. We have understood that the industry demands a supply chain that works 24/7. But as machinery is designed to meet certain levels, operators also need to increase this capacity so they can have nonstop production.