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DRASLOVKA

MEXICO - Energy & Mining

Claudia E. Márquez

Global Commercial Director, Draslovka

Bio

Claudia E. Márquez is an industrial engineer from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey and holds a master’s degree in operations management from the University of Nottingham. She is currently the Global Commercial Director of Mining Solutions in Draslovka, and before the sale of Chemours Mexico in 2019, she was appointed its general manager. In 1998, she joined DuPont, where she held several leadership positions until before the spinoff of its performance chemicals business, and was appointed Commercial Manager of Chemical Solutions for Latin America in 2015. Claudia is the first woman to be president of the National Association of the Chemical Industry (ANIQ) in Mexico.

"Draslovka acquired Chemours Mining Solutions in 2021, and since then Mexico has been highly relevant for the company."
Draslovka aims to update the image of the mining industry and establish itself not only as a product supplier, but also a service supplier focused on sustainability and innovation.
What role does Mexico play within Draslovka’s international business strategy?

Draslovka acquired Chemours Mining Solutions in 2021, and since then Mexico has been highly relevant for the company. Mexico represents about 50% of our revenue in terms of mining solutions. It has a high amount of mining activity and some of the largest mines in the world, ranking first in silver globally and eighth in gold; hence, there is always a great deal of development, and Draslovka will continue to be present in Mexico.

What challenges has Draslovka identified in the market, and how is it working to overcome them?

There are numerous challenges for mining in general, mostly around ESG, sustainability, and the carbon footprint. Communities all over the world are more aware today and more demanding of responsible mining. In Mexico, there is also the issue of new concessions, whereby operating companies need to extract the most from their current operations. When we became part of Draslovka, we became the largest solid sodium cyanide producer worldwide. We made a large investment in technology that could produce target metals without the environmental impact of waste materials like mercury and arsenic. This new glycine leaching technology allows us to extract more material from less product. The process reduces cost while increasing efficiency. It is also environmentally friendly because we are able to reduce the amount of sodium cyanide used in extraction by 20-80%, thereby reducing the amount of cyanide in the wastewater. This is much more cost efficient for our customers. The technology reduces the amount of sodium cyanide required, as well as having a number of other benefits that can help reduce operating costs related to chemical consumables.

How has the market reacted to this solution?

Barrick, the world’s second-largest gold producer is testing and implementing the technology globally, being the first to do so on a global scale. We were pleased with this announcement from Barrick because in the mining industry, customers often want to know that something has worked somewhere else. This is a technology that has been developed for over 10 years, and there has been a great deal of investment in innovation. We are pleased that it is being tested by Barrick across its sites worldwide. We are now starting to test it in Mexico, although the companies concerned are keeping it confidential for now. The entire process to see the benefits at a particular mine site will take about nine to 12 months because various tests must first be done. Barrick is the first major company to have announced this collaboration, and we have many more in the pipeline.

Mining players in silver and gold are looking to diversify into copper or other base metals. Is Draslovka also looking into this as well?

Yes, Draslovka started in the precious metals arena because this is where our history lies; however, this technology is also applicable to base metals, which will be a game changer.

What are your goals for 2023?

We plan to develop the pipeline and establish more Barrick-type success stories. We have a significant pipeline, especially in Mexico, with some of the largest mines where there is strong opportunity. Our goal is to advance those projects to the testing phase and then into production. The new leaching technology is a comprehensive process and requires a certain type of management, though we are seeing considerable interest from various customers. Mexico is hugely relevant to what we do, though we are extremely excited about this engagement with innovation and collaborating with our customers to overhaul the image of the mining industry. We want to be not only a product supplier but also a service supplier. We aim to change the model by introducing innovative technology to produce more with less, especially right now, which is a critical moment for the mining industry in Mexico and worldwide.

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