"Ausenco has a wide portfolio of projects in Peru, and we view the future with optimism as we believe several projects will eventually advance towards construction encouraged by metal prices."
Can you provide an update of Ausenco’s activities at Mina Justa, and describe how the company’s services have evolved in the last year?
FC: Ausenco recently completed the design and construction of the Mina Justa project, which is currently in ramp up phase. Our role now is to support the client in the startup and operation. Despite the difficulties posed by the pandemic, we managed to carry out this project on time and within the approved budget. From the point of view of design and execution, it has been remarkable due to its complexity, and it has followed the same path as other successful copper projects Ausenco has carried out, including our work at Constancia in Peru.
Despite Covid, Ausenco has been present in different phases of several projects, especially in the study phase. Ausenco has a wide portfolio of projects in Peru, and we view the future with optimism as we believe several projects will eventually advance towards construction encouraged by metal prices.
What were the main findings of Ausenco’s 2020 Sustainability Report?
AA: Ausenco’s 2020 Sustainability Report is the first that the company has produced, and therefore represents an important milestone. Its aim is to compile all our sustainability efforts in different projects and areas of the company, and with this constitute a baseline for our commitment in the future. Once we understand all the independent sustainability initiatives that we have within the company, we can start working on more specific, unified and company-wide measures.
What are your clients’ main concerns from an ESG standpoint?
AA: Permitting is our Peruvian clients’ biggest concern. Additionally, clients are increasingly requesting assistance to address ESG and to comply with International Finance Corporation (IFC) standards. Another big question that companies are raising is how to address climate change and become net zero, even though this is not required by Peruvian regulations. We are also working with many mining companies to implement the new Global Tailings Standard.
Can you give examples of Ausenco’s environmental and geotechnical solutions?
AA: On the environmental side, Ausenco offers a wide range of services related to permitting, including environmental impact assessments (EIAs), compensation plans, concession permits, environmental monitoring, and closure planning. What sets us apart is that we have the capacity to provide an integral service of engineering, environmental and social services to any project at any stage of their life cycle. Ausenco also provides services related to water management and water balance. With regards to tailings, Ausenco participates from the conceptual stage to the detailed engineering phase. For example, in Chile, we are completing the detailed engineering and will be soon starting the construction supervision of the tailings for the Manto Verde project owned by Mantos Copper. Lately, we have also been supporting clients with digital solutions and alternatives to present project information through virtualizations in a way that it is easy to understand for all the stakeholders. This is futher complemented with our asset optimization, pipelines, transportation and logistics capabilities.
To grow our worldwide ESG capabilities, three years ago Ausenco bought Hemmera, a Canadian environmental consultant based in North America. Today, we continue working together to implement the best global environmental practices and technologies for South America.
What services does Ausenco offer to optimize production at mine sites?
FC: Ausenco has a division responsible for operational optimization and we become involved in two key areas. In the final phase of project construction, we have a large group supporting commissioning and ramp up – transferring projects towards operations. In the operation phase we have a group in charge of asset optimization and management of maintenance plans. We also have our own specialized software called Orien, which is a cloud-based management solution that helps to operate and maintain mining assets efficiently.
These are very important areas for us today, as we believe the improved efficiency in the operation of existing plants will become increasingly relevant in the context of high metal prices.