José J. Suárez meets with Perumin editorial team

October 17, 2017 Latin America

“We want our offices in Latin America to mirror the one in Peru”

José Suárez

President of Global Mining and Metallurgy

This was noted by José Suárez, President of Global Mining and Metallurgy at SNC-Lavalin, who was highlighting the company's participation in the PERUMIN 33 Mining Convention. Canadian company SNC-Lavalin was present as a sponsor at the PERUMIN 33 Mining Convention, an event organized by the Institute of Mining Engineers of Peru (IIMP). In the following interview, José Suárez, expert and President of Global Mining and Metallurgy at SNC-Lavalin, gives us his impressions on the key event that took place in Arequipa. 

What kind of services and products are offered by SNC-Lavalin? 

We are a worldwide engineering and construction company with a 25-year history in Peru. Our corporation has four main areas: Mining & Metallurgy, Oil & Gas, Power and Infrastructure. To offer this range of services, we have an office in Lima, but our staff go wherever they are needed. 

In the Peruvian market, we mainly offer mining and environmental engineering services, which is really important for us and is where we have significant capacity to help customers work closely with the community.

Does the company have growth prospects in the Peruvian market?

Although the global and domestic mining market has suffered setbacks in recent years, Peru is still an important market for us. We are working on a number of environmental studies and services, which help us maintain our presence in Peru. Our hopes for the future are now much improved.

We consider Latin America fundamental to the company, and therefore we have offices in Colombia, Brazil, Peru and Chile. Likewise, we have good prospects for the region and, specifically in Peru, we foresee potentially significant growth in the next 2 to 3 years.

Given the current landscape in the mining sector, how important is it for SNC-Lavalin to participate in PERUMIN 33?

We go to every global mining convention in the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East, where we have a lot of work. It was our first time attending the PERUMIN Mining Convention, and I am seriously impressed, as it was the best mix of mining technology, knowledge and senior executives that I have come across. This combination helped generate good debates on the future.

Similarly, the perspectives we hear from a lot of customers about their projects and how we can help them improve is important to us, as it allows us to add real value. It has definitely been a good experience overall. We were a copper sponsor for this session of the PERUMIN Mining Convention, and we are going to continue with this participation in the future.

I have been in this business for more than 30 years, and it has been one of the best mining conventions I have attended in my career. I am truly impressed by the quality, the participants and the discussions we have enjoyed. I will definitely circle this date on my calendar in the future.

What are the company's plans in the short and medium term? 

Our office in Peru is the company's model for Latin America, not only because it is focused on mining and metallurgy, but because we are undertaking jobs across all the sectors in which we work. We want our offices in Latin America to mirror the one in Peru. In the medium term, however, our goal is to continue to help customers with environmental studies, as well as to grow within our different sectors.

Does SNC-Lavalin plan to make any major investments in our country?

We are always looking at investment opportunities and generating greater added value. We have all the local resources required to do the job. When we need an expert from a technical area we don't have in our resource base in Peru, Brazil or Chile, we can bring in experts from our other corporate offices to help.

We are going to be investing much more in the innovation and technology area, since we want to help customers lower the capital cost of projects as well as operational costs.

Our office in Peru is a leader in terms of environmental services; it not only runs studies for permit approval, but also has a psychological arm that aims to work closely with the wider community. It is fundamental to understand the needs of any community, because when a mining investment is undertaken, the community must be integrated into the project and understand the benefits of such.

Finally, what are your takeaways from PERUMIN 33?

Peru is a beautiful country with very talented people. For me, it is very important to spread the word that it is a country where you can do excellent business and that there are companies like SNC-Lavalin willing to support customers in their efforts. PERUMIN 33 is definitely one of the most important conventions in the world—the sector agenda is discussed and important decisions are made to improve the mining industry. Likewise, Arequipa impressed me with its potential in the sector, not to mention the fact that we could make new contacts and find potential customers.

Read the original article in Spanish

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