As a result of the boom in mining, the South American nation of Chile today holds a number of important titles. These include being the world’s largest producer of copper, 32 percent of the world’s production to be exact, its only, and therefore leading, producer of natural nitrates and its leading producer of iodine, rhenium and lithium.
With Chile also being the third largest producer of molybdenum and fifth largest in terms of silver production, it goes without saying that mining is at the heart of the country’s economy, contributing approximately 16.4 percent of its gross domestic product in the last six years alone. This figure means that the industry contributes the same as the gas, water, electricity, industrial and agricultural sectors put together.
With nearly a century of experience within the marketplace, Enaex is the planet’s third largest producer of industrial-grade ammonium nitrate, and the most important integral services provider for rock fragmentation in Chile and Latin America, providing services to the main open pit and underground mines that operate in countries such as Chile, Peru and Argentina. Enaex is also recognised as having the largest productive industrial complex of industrial grade ammonium nitrate, which boasts a nominal capacity of 800,000 tonnes per year.
“At Enaex,” states general manager, Juan Andrés Errázuriz, “we strive to act as our customers’ strategic partner. In order to do so we aim to contribute through the use of our products and the skills of our people, putting at our customers’ disposal a combination of innovative, experience and excellence that drives our on-site solutions.”
As the global mining industry has skyrocketed, so too has Enaex’s international presence. Today the company is present in over 40 countries, from Argentina and Bolivia to Indonesia and Japan, in which it holds 35 percent of the market. “In 2011,” Errázuriz continues, “we added Colombia to our portfolio of existing markets, where we have developed a new cartridge emulsions plant in partnership with Indumil. In 2012, we also began embracing the Brazilian market with the acquisition of Britanite, together with the Breca Group.”
Enaex’s long, distinguished history has allowed the company to build up an almost unrivalled degree of experience and market understanding. “This level of understanding,” Errázuriz says, “means that we have a detailed knowledge of the social and environmental challenges that our customers face on a day-to-day basis. This in turn means that we are able to offer customised, innovative and flexible solutions that address their individual needs and concerns. By doing so we are able to work in close collaboration with our customers in order to improve their efficiency and generate increased value for all parties.”
Ever since its inception, Enaex has prided itself on its visionary approach. This pride remains firmly in place as the company strives to be one step ahead of changes within the industry and at the forefront of innovation. “Just one of our many innovations,” Errázuriz enthuses, “is the Milodón, the largest mixer and triple truck in the world. Developed by our own skilled engineers, the Milodón’s unmatched ability to transport raw materials, its charging speed and its industry-leading safety features make it the premier choice when it comes to conducting safe and efficient blasting.”
Elsewhere within the company, Enaex’s engineers have, for the past several decades, developed a number of solutions and methods of working to ensure the company maintains sustainable operations. These include eco-plants that reuse residual lube oils, which helps reduce the level of fuel consumption during the manufacturing of explosives by as much as 75 percent.
“When you also factor in our air wave remote monitoring systems, powder emission controls and vibration control solutions,” Errázuriz explains, “it highlights just how we have also become leaders when it comes to environmental care.”
At present, Enaex is recognised by the United Nations in Chile as being the leading force behind its Certified Emissions Reduction programme, and was recently announced as being the second most sustainable company in all of Chile by the Third Ranking of Climate Change Leaders, as conducted by Fundación Chile together with the Revista Capital local review board.
In the last year, the company has launched a new Company Development Cycle. Designed to strengthen and consolidate Enaex’s growth as a primary service provider to the mining sector, this launch will enable the company to continue to focus on delivering integral, value-added services to all of its customers.
“Our core objective,” Errázuriz says, “has always been to provide our customers with on-site solutions. As a way of continuing our mission to meet that objective we are now preparing to introduce a range of products to the marketplace including our Panfo product, which will allow our customers to increase the level of accuracy on blast sites. In addition to this launch we also intend to expand our Milodón mixer truck fleet, which will we believe will allow our customers to reduce the labour demands at their mining operations. These are the kind of value-added products that we have a long history of bringing to the fore and will continue to do so as our customers’ needs and requirements change in the years to come.”
Written by Will Daynes, research by Abi Abagun