"We have partnered with San Martin, a Peruvian company with extensive experience in open pit mining, and hope that this will position us well to be a preferred contractor when a mining company wants to transition from open pit to underground."
What demand trends have you noticed for your services over the past year in Peru?
The past 12 months have been a busy time for contractors, despite the effects of the pandemic and all the restrictions that came with it. Various companies have been taking the time to look at the future and surprisingly there are many planned projects in the pipeline, so Byrnecut has been extremely active in tendering. We are also happy to have successfully grown into new markets; again at a little bit of a surprise.
What are the advantages of having an office in Peru?
Having a base in Peru has been beneficial for Byrnecut, not only because it allows us to look for opportunities in South America, but also because it gives us boots on the ground to work on projects over a 24-hour day. Our Peru offices have enabled us to increase working time, accelerate our processes, and provide additional services to our clients.
Can you highlight some of the projects Byrnecut has worked on recently?
We operate in an extremely competitive environment and are saddened by missing out on the opportunity to work on the Yanacocha project. We continue to target large scale mechanized underground projects and are eager to support our clients in their developments.
How do you see digital and automation landscape evolving in Peru?
We have seen substantial advancements in automation and the use of remote technologies over the past years, some of which was brought forward by the impacts of Covid-19. It has been difficult to get outside experts on to remote sites, given travel restrictions, forcing us to come up with other ways for people to engage and work.
Can you give examples of where Byrnecut is implementing digitization and automation technologies?
Byrnecut has typically operated production drills and loaders remotely from the surface. We have now expanded this remote technology to one of our jumbo drills in operation at a project in Australia. Remote operations allow for increased safety and significant time savings, especially during shift changes.
What growth potential do you see for Latin America as a whole, and particularly Peru, with regards to underground mining?
There is great potential for underground mining in Latin America as the mining industry matures, especially in Peru which is still a bit behind in moving mining operations underground. Byrnecut has positioned itself in Peru to take advantage of the great opportunities we expect to arise over the next 10 years. Underground mining is becoming more popular in many countries due to the fact that it is visually more aesthetic, and the environmental footprint is significantly lower than with open pit mining.
In terms of Byrnecut’s service offering to the mining industry, where do you see the most opportunity for growth?
The Byrnecut Group of Companies offers a full range of services for underground mining, from consultancy right through to operations. We also have raise drilling capabilities, an engineering group that rebuilds equipment, shaft sinking capabilities, and a project group which continuously supports plant operations and infrastructure. In Peru, we believe the most demand will be for Mining Plus’ services, which encompass early involvement with clients, helping them to look at opportunities to transition from surface to underground mining. Byrnecut continues to look for elephant projects as we believe we can differentiate ourselves on these large projects that are outside the scope of local contractors’ capabilities. We have partnered with San Martin, a Peruvian company with extensive experience in open pit mining, and hope that this will position us well to be a preferred contractor when a mining company wants to transition from open pit to underground.
What are Byrnecut’s main goals for 2022 and beyond?
Byrnecut continues to have a wider South American focus when looking for opportunities but hopes to have a large-scale mining contract in Peru by the end of 2022. We want to become known for our great work and expertise and aim to be the preferred mining contractor for the Peruvian mining industry.