New Frontiers

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Can you tell us about your work history and why you were attracted to the mining industry?
I grew up in the Far East of Russia which is a major gold mining and fishing region, which essentially sealed my fate as far as a future profession went. Mining is a fantastic industry to be involved in. It is extremely multifaceted and dynamic, which continues to provide me with numerous opportunities for growth and continuous professional development.

I have been working in the mining industry for more than eleven years now.  Both for mining services companies including Bateman Engineering B.V. and FLSmidth as well as mining companies such as Glencore in their technology division.

I have had a number of roles within the industry which have typically had a technology and innovation focus.  These roles have included business development, process optimisation, technology assessment, marketing and sales.

Anna, can you tell us about your role and what influenced you to join Molycop?
My role is the Molycop Director of Business Development for Russia / CIS.  The role includes typical sales and marketing responsibilities in addition to providing technical support for our customers in the region.

Molycop understands that local representation is very important to our customer base, not only in Russia but in other key mining markets around the globe.  It has been my experience that Russian mining companies prefer to work directly with suppliers that are not only locally based, but also have a strong understanding of the technical and service elements to the product.  This is difficult to replicate with an agent that must represent numerous product lines.

Given Russia covers eleven separate time zones, I have a vast region to cover which provides me with the opportunity to travel to the remote regions of this great country.  It also provides me with a lot of variety in my work, supporting predominantly gold, copper and iron-ore mining customers.

Can you describe what services and capabilities Molycop is offering to customers in the region?
Molycop is the global leader in grinding media and provides a unique capability and service offering to our customers in Russia.  Customers have been very receptive to Molycop’s grinding media range with it’s exceptional long life wear properties, supported by a strong technical support capability focused on improving customer productivity.

Molycop’s range of grinding media products are designed and manufactured to decrease specific grinding media consumption which results in a lower cost per tonne of ore milled.  Recent trials in Russia have indicated significant reductions in consumption over local supply options, in the range of 30-40% using Molycop’s standard range of grinding media.  Lower consumption rates in grinding media results in additional benefits to the customer including; lower inventory holdings, reduction in the number of ball charges and less transport movements.  These benefits are of particular importance for customers here who are often located in remote regions of Russia which means a long supply chain for mining consumables.

Another unique capability Molycop brings is its technical support, with a focus not just on product performance, but also on the productivity of our customer’s milling circuit.  Our technical support extends to services to improve grinding efficiency and determining optimal ball sizes and charge levels for the grinding task.  To assist in their analysis, Molycop’s technical personnel use their proprietary simulation software program called “Molycop Tools”.  Molycop also provides training for customers in the use of these tools, which has generated huge interest from local Process Engineers.  These tools enable customers to characterize and evaluate the operating efficiency of any grinding circuit.  The tools incorporate a complete set of digital simulators for conventional and semiautogenous grinding applications and are free of charge for Molycop customers. 

What has been the reaction of local customers to Molycop?
Despite only having a local presence in Russia for less than 13 months, Moly-Cop has been successful in securing trials and several supply contracts with major Russian mining companies.  The comparative performance of the product has also been highly valued by customers in the region.

Last year we also conducted our first major Molycop Tools seminar in Moscow for Process Engineers from some of the major Russian mining companies.  The course focused on methodologies and techniques to optimise grinding circuits, and provided a hands-on opportunity to introduce the participants to Molycop Tools.  These courses are often delivered in other parts of the world but this was the first such conference to take place within Russia.  The course was delivered by Dr Jaime Sepulveda from Chile, who was one of the original collaborators on Molycop Tools and is a global thought leader in comminution.

Given the success of this course we are now planning to schedule another seminar later this year.