New countries, remote locations, shortage of skilled people, stringent safety and environmental requirements, social unrest and financial constraints are some of the challenges mining companies face these days. To help overcome these challenges, mining companies require not only a reliable mining contractor, but a business partner capable of creating solutions and advising on how to handle these issues.
Over the past decade, STRACON GyM S.A. (STRACON) has consolidated itself as a sustainable mining contractor and solution provider throughout the region, supporting mining companies to break ground, construct and produce as per the plan. This invaluable operational experience has enabled STRACON to transfer best practices in an efficient and effective way to its clients, building long-term relationships based on trust and reliability.
Steve Dixon, CEO of STRACON, tells us more about the company and its value proposition as well as his view on the industry.
STRACON and the Graña y Montero Group (G&M) commenced operations under a joint venture arrangement back in 2003. The main goal of this association was to provide comprehensive mining solutions throughout Latin America. During this period, the joint venture participated in complex and remote mining projects including El Brocal, Orcopampa, Poracota and La Zanja (Buenaventura); Cerro Corona (Gold Fields), La Arena (Rio Alto) and Toromocho (Chinalco), Punta de Lobos (Sociedad Minera Punta de Lobos) and Veladero (Barrick).
Safety, efficiency and supporting client´s in-house teams were key to executing these projects and meeting our client´s expectations.
After successfully delivering several projects, during 2011 STRACON and G&M decided to solidify the relationship and established STRACON GyM S.A, positioning itself as a valuable business partner for reputable and emerging mining companies, providing integrated mining and construction services to open pit and underground operations.
STRACON has focused on strengthening relationships with its current clients and has been able to support Hudbay Minerals with the construction and initial operation of Constancia Copper Mine (Peru) and Rio Alto - now Tahoe Resources - to construct and operate both La Arena and Shahuindo Gold Mines (Peru). Also, we have been able to consolidate our presence in the region by developing the San Ramon underground operation owned by Red Eagle Mining Inc. in Colombia as well as servicing several aspects of the Cobre Panama project, owned by of First Quantum Minerals.
Building a compelling value proposition
To Steve, the combination of experience gained building and operating challenging projects throughout the region, coupled with the use of world-class processes are key success factors in STRACON´s value proposition. In his view, there are seven aspects to the STRACON approach that have helped clients build local capacity to safely manage ongoing operations:
"All employees returning home safely, every day". This is how we live says Steve and we will not negotiate this aspect under any circumstance.
STRACON is committed to achieving the highest possible performance in occupational health and safety across all business operations. From the start of the project, STRACON focuses on the safety of our employees, clients, partners and other stakeholders.
Steve lists specific activities that are core to safety and support STRACON´s way of operating:
2. OPERATIONAL RAMP-UP
"To be effective and efficient, you need to be committed", under this premise STRACON has successfully participated in the construction, startup and operation of several greenfield projects throughout Latin America. Our experience has enabled us develop teams capable of addressing specific operational challenges at our projects, particularly during start up, delivering the required solutions for our clients.
3. COMMERCIAL VERSATILITY
One size does not fit all. Our commercial approach to resolving the challenges our clients face allows us to provide a range of commercial solutions that suits their needs.
We seek to structure solutions that minimize administration time and operating claims while fostering win-win relationships. This approach ultimately translates into tangible benefits for the projects we are involved in.
As an example, we have been able to successfully implement an "Alliance" approach whereby STRACON and the client integrate resources to deliver projects.
4. FINANCIAL FLEXIBILITY
STRACON has developed several mechanisms to support clients in addressing their CAPEX requirements, investing in equipment and facilities to help get projects off the ground.
5. MAXIMIZING PRODUCTIVITY
Operational leadership, rigorous cost & schedule control and on-field expertise are key components that have contributed to STRACON improving productivity at projects. We also build on this experience and transfer best practices from one site to another, developing and implementing the right operating model. Steve mentions a few success cases:
6. ASSET MANAGEMENT
Another relevant aspect of an operation is to balance costs and mechanical availability of property, plant and equipment. Once again, our mining experience, regional presence and size allows us to transfer tangible benefits to our clients. To name a few achievements:
7. RESPECTING AND SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES
Last but not least is the relationship with the communities where we operate. STRACON works towards developing successful relationships and implementing a range of strategies focusing on local employment, social responsibility and cultural heritage management, aimed at complimenting and supporting our client's initiatives.
It is important to mention that many of the people involved in our projects are residents of neighboring communities, one of the reason why STRACON implements training programs to develop necessary skills for the operations.
To maximize the effectiveness of our programs, we have invested in acquiring state-of-the-art simulators, that way we are able to efficiently train inexperienced personnel in a safe environment.
In the same token, STRACON has supported initiatives that lead to local self-reliance through employment and engagement with local suppliers and subcontractors.
STRACON has been able to build its reputation as a premier mining contractor in the region by simply living by our values: SAFETY, COMPLIANCE, QUALITY, INTEGRITY and EFFICIENCY.
"We care about our customers and aim to be strategic long term partners, constantly searching for ways to continually improve and add further value to their operations", says Steve, "We know we will be a successful business if our clients have successful operations".
Steve sees a bright future for STRACON in the region, with many opportunities where the company can apply its experience to successfully develop and operate a broad range of projects.
In his view, the approach towards costs reduction and discipline in managing capital expenditure has provided mining companies with excellent skills to select their next partner "mining companies understand that shareholders seek maximum return on their investments, this is only accomplished by a combination of risk management, cost control, optimization of capex and partnering with the right suppliers". Also in his view, Latin America continues to offer a great platform of growth for the industry.
Want to know more about us? You can find and follow us in our social media networks:
- WEBSITE: www.stracongym.com.pe
- LINKEDIN: https://www.linkedin.com/company/stracon-gym
- GOOGLE: https://www.youtube.com/user/STRACONGyM