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MEI Online: General Minerals Engineering: Latest News: September 19th 2014

 
 

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:: New FLSmidth Service Center in Zacatecas, Mexico

 

FLSmidth recently opened its newest service center located in Zacatecas, Mexico. The grand opening took place on August 29, 2014 coming just 358 days after the company held its groundbreaking ceremony at the site.

This first phase of completed construction on the service center site includes a 1,000 m2 warehouse along with 250 m2 offices and training facilities. The service center is located on a 12,400 m2 parcel of land, with room for planned phases of future development.

The official opening was attended by Miguel Alonso Reyes (Zacatecas State Governor), Patricia Salinas (Secretary of Economy and Social Development), Ingeniero Horacio Franco (Mayor), representatives from the State Government Administration and the Mexican Mining community, and the press. FLSmidth was well represented with key management personnel attending from the Salt Lake City, Santiago and local Mexican offices. In all, around 200 individuals—including mining executives representing up to 80 percent of all industrial mines in Mexico—were on hand for the opening.

Rather than the typical cutting of a ribbon for the opening of the service center, FLSmidth managers instead planted a tree to symbolize the forthcoming growth and construction. The Ligustrum Lucidum, a small evergreen tree that grows up to 10 m tall and broad, was specifically chosen “because its qualities mirror those that FLSmidth looks for in a service center: it grows fast—both in sunshine and shadow—and its resilience enables it to thrive in ever-changing conditions;" said Ms. Romy Gibbons, FLSmidth’s Global Supercenter Director.

FLSmidth operates a number of service centers and larger Supercenters around the globe—including Australia, South Africa, Chile, Peru, USA and now Zacatecas, Mexico. These service centers are strategically located close to both mining and cement operations.

“FLSmidth’s service centers and Supercenters represent a forward-thinking step in customer service because of the unique and specific ways each local center can interact with the particular needs of the customer in its immediate area," stated Ms. Gibbons. “This includes everything from the convenience and availability of services and parts to training programs and job creation for members of the local community."

Why Zacatecas?

“Zacatecas was a natural choice as a service center location because of its proximity to many of Mexico’s major mining projects," said Mr. Richardt Fangel, FLSmidth Mexico Country Head. “In all, nearly 70 percent of Mexico’s mining production takes place within a radius of 500 km from Zacatecas."

The Zacatecas region is located in north-central Mexico and is situated at 2,469 m above sea level. Major mining companies within that radius include Peñoles, Fresnillo, Grupo Mexico, Goldcorp (which operates Peñasquito—a 130,000 tpd, 85 percent FLSmidth concentrator plant), First Majestic, Capstone Gold, and others.

Zacatecas was founded in 1546 after the discovery of one of the world’s richest silver veins. By the early 18th century, Zacatecas was producing one-fifth of the world’s silver. Currently, Zacatecas is ranked No. 1 nationally in silver, zinc and cadmium production; No. 2 in lead and copper; and No. 3 in gold.

A 50-year History with Continued Future Growth

The FLSmidth Mexico offices were officially established in the region in 1963 and last year employees held celebrations to recognize the company’s 50-year anniversary with its many accomplishments. FLSmidth has been successfully involved in business activities into Mexico for more than 80 years, with its first sales coming to fruition in the 1930s.

A key market for the Mexican team has been in the cement industry, where they have played an important role winning major portions of the available opportunities. Currently, over 60 percent of the 30 existing cement plants incorporate FLSmidth design and equipment.

In order to improve service to its customers in Mexico, FLSmidth grasped the opportunity to open the local service center in Zacatecas. The new facility reinforces FLSmidth’s commitment and promising future in the Mexican mining industry. “We hope this service center will benefit the local mining customers for many years to come," said Mr. Fangel.

The Zacatecas service center business plan has been sectioned into three phases. Each phase will begin as business growth allows:

  • Phase 1 — Field service, island service packages, training, exchange and stocking programs, distribution
  • Phase 2 — Repair and/or upgrade of equipment
  • Phase 3 — Assembly of new equipment

Phase 1 began on August 29, 2014, with the opening of the Zacatecas service center. The present FLSmidth warehouse in Monterrey will soon be consolidated to this new location.

“In building up the service capabilities in Mexico, training and experience has been key as the team is now able to service a complete concentrator line with Spanish-speaking specialists," said Mr. Fangel. “We will also expand our equipment service packages with monthly visits by a field engineer for system inspection, process maintenance and spare-parts planning."

Cluster Minero Zacatecas

During the August 29th opening of the new Zacatecas service center, FLSmidth hosted the quarterly Cluster Minero (ClusMin) board meeting in its new office space.

Originating in 2011, the Mexican Mining Cluster was formed in Zacatecas with the mission to “facilitate and strengthen the development of the region’s mining industry." The group is made up of Mexican mining companies, the Mexican government, as well university entities and several mining equipment vendors (including FLSmidth). The president of ClusMin is Jaime Lomelin, who also is corporate director of Grupo Bal (which owns Peñoles and Fresnillo, among others). Today there are more than 50 members.

FLSmidth participates as a founder in the quarterly board meetings and plays an active role in all of ClusMin’s working committees which include a focus on human capital, safety, health & environment, suppliers, and technical innovation.

Since the Cluster’s beginning, in early 2011, FLSmidth has registered more than 40 vendor investment projects, started a new metallurgical engineering program (Carrera Instituto Politecnico Nacional Campus Zacatecas), set up quality benchmarks, established local manufacturing units, elaborated best practices for mining safety standards, and is currently working on attracting additional talent to the mining industry.

 

 

   

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