Hydrometallurgy Insights Issue 1 / 2020
Business as usual – despite drastic changes in both our external and internal environment
At the start of 2020 I was expecting it to become an exciting year for Outotec’s hydrometallurgy business. We had a record-high order backlog with several interesting major projects under way in various parts of the world. We were also expecting to become a part of a much bigger company by completing the planned merger with Metso Minerals. However, no-one could predict how radically the world was going to change because of a virus we now know as COVID-19.
It would be an exaggeration to say the global pandemic has had little impact on our operations, but I am very proud to be able to say that we have been able to continue our business activities with minimal disturbance. Most of our project teams transferred to remote working as soon as the outbreak began. Fortunately, our IT tools were in good order and we saw almost no drop in productivity as a result, with projects largely proceeding on schedule. We have experienced only minor delays in equipment manufacturing activities in those countries where local lockdown procedures have forced some workshops to close temporarily, and our testing and research labs have remained open as normal.
It has been extremely pleasing to see that our clients have not suspended their operations either. There have been a lot of enquiries for new projects, despite the unusual circumstances, and we have been very busy preparing new proposals. I am confident that there will be a steep recovery in mining industry investment in the near future.
As already mentioned, Outotec is soon to merge with another great mining industry technology supplier, Metso Minerals. The merger is expected to happen at the beginning of the third quarter of 2020, and together we will continue to develop and deliver hydrometallurgical equipment and process solutions as one company, Metso Outotec. The merger will further strengthen our position as the frontrunner in hydrometallurgy technology. We look forward to continuing to serve you as your preferred hydrometallurgy technology partner under the Metso Outotec banner.
Juha Kemppainen | Vice President, Hydrometallurgy