On our newest episode of the Sepro Podcast, our host Andrew Gillis, VP of Research and Development for Sepro Systems, chats with long-time colleague Peter Latta, VP of Technical Services at Avino Silver and Gold Mines: an experienced, Vancouver-based mining and exploration firm with operating mines and properties throughout Mexico. Peter is not only a Sepro alumnus but has held roles with mining suppliers Tenova and Gekko Systems, as well as the mining exploration company Alexco Resources. The varied roles with both vendors and operators give Peter a unique insight into the mining industry, which we explore throughout the podcast.
We start off by looking at the merger of Outotec and Metso, two of the largest mining suppliers in the world. Andrew and Peter explore the implications of such mega-mergers for operators, engineering firms and vendors. Peter outlines some of the advantages and limitations of consolidated vendors while sharing thoughts on what mining companies are really seeking out in vendors.
The topic then shifts to the junior mining and operating space. Andrew and Peter talk about the history of the mining industry in British Columbia, the changing regulatory environment and how other factors such as capital, housing prices, and industries outside of mining can affect the movement of mining companies.
Next, they explore one of Peter’s specialties: contracting and metal sales. Andrew opens with his own preconceptions about metal sales from the perspective of mining operations. Peter takes us through the reality of metal sales and the factors that affect the market. Logistics, a liquid market, penalties, premiums, quality and applications are all evaluated; Peter also explores the topic from the perspective of a metallurgist running circuits and using various concentrate outputs to maximize profit when working with smelters.
Finally, Andrew and Peter discuss travel and the mining industry, and how working with companies around the world with unique business cultures have broadened their own skill sets. Peter elaborates on Avino’s innovative contract with Samsung.
Peter helps wrap up the episode by sharing advice for new mining graduates venturing into a mining industry that changes all of the time, not just from innovation, but from the most recent influences of COVID-19.