To maintain and increase the competitivity of Mexican companies in the international market, Fernando Alanís, CEO of Industrias Peñoles and recently named President of CAMIMEX, believes operators should focus on training and developing their people, investing in technology, prioritizing social licenses and the development of the national supply chain. “These components are part of our formula for success not only in the local market but also in the international market in regions like Europe,” he said as part of his keynote speech in the exclusive networking breakfast organized by Mexico Mining Review in Mexico City on Tuesday.
When it comes to investing in its people, Peñoles is leading the way in the Mexican mining industry by making sure it has a talented team that can face the challenges of international competition. “We can have the best hardware and software of the industry but it is not operated by the best humanware, it will not work,” he stated. “Programs can be bought but people need to be developed. We make sure the people in our team have a feeling of belonging and pride in the company. This has brought the employee rotation percentage in the company to a low as 1.8 percent.”
Another focus that has brought excellence to the company is its investment in technology. “We do not seek the most on-trend products but those that we can incorporate into our processes to best meet our needs,” he says. “We just invested US$340 million into expanding our zinc plant in Torreon and this will increase production by 50 percent. We export 40 million tons of zinc in to Europe. This is no easy feat as the region is abundant in the mineral but we differentiate ourselves with our quality.”
The company is also a strong advocate for the importance of social licenses in projects. “This is a common factor in the Mexican mining industry,” he explained. “Even though not everybody does it the right way, Mexican companies in the sector know the importance of social licenses. We make sure to find abilities in the communities we work with that we can strengthen to allow these communities to live independently and thrive after mine closures.”
And lastly, the CEO mentioned the development of the national supply chain as a key factor that the industry should focus on. “Most of the heavy machinery in the industry is being developed in Europe, but Mexico should also strive to make its own equipment to boost the national economy.”