Title : Mining Engineer
Company Name: Bio Thermal Solutions
Industry : Mining & Exploration
Location : Austin, TX
Years Of Professional Experience : 21-25 Years
Specialty : Solid Bio FuelsBiography :
Xavier Ochoa has published numerous technical papers as well as having conducted many interview sessions in print and broadcast media. Xavier attributes his success to his ability to communicate effectively technical matters in layman terms to non technical audiences and executives. In 5 years he aspires to own his own business while expanding the global presence and market for Bio Thermal Solutions.
“Upon completion of high school, I applied for through the Institute for International Education in New York City for a collegiate scholarship. I was granted a partial scholarship from the Encyclopaedia Britannica to study Mining Engineering at the University of Arizona in the United States. This grant was a first as it was the first time anyone wanting to study Mining Engineering was awarded this prestigious academic scholarship. Subsequently, during college, I was also granted scholarships from the Society for Mining and Exploration, Inc. and the Phelps Dodge Foundation which helped cover my college education.
As an Engineering student at the University of Arizona I engaged in multiple activities. Among these activities were participating in the Local Chapter of the Society for Mining and Exploration Inc. as well as the Student Chapter at the University. In parallel I participated actively in the Geology Club. In order to have a recreational activity I was part of the Rugby Club playing in the junior varsity and eventually in the varsity teams for the school. With the Team I was able to travel domestically as well as touring in the British Isles and Ireland.
Academically, during my college education I maintained 3+ GPA’s and graduated with a mention from the College of Engineering and its Department of Mining & Geological Engineering with the best undergraduate GPA for the Mining Engineering major that year. Immediately following graduation approved the Engineering In Training (EIT) examination in Arizona initiating my registered professional career.
Three years later I approved the Professional Engineer (PE) examination in the State of Nevada and followed to become registered in Arizona. The same year, the Society for Mining and Exploration, Inc. conferred on me the peer appointed annual Young Professional Award based on distinct merit in the US minerals industry.
Since then, I have remained an active member of the Society for Mining and Exploration, Inc. having occupied local section elected officer positions as well as serving at the national level in committees.
I also participated actively in the US-Mexico Chamber of Commerce’s Mining Group from 1996 through 1999 linking local Mining chambers from the US with their Mexican counterparts promoting trade between both countries.
In 1999 I took an expatriate assignment in Peru which allowed me in addition to furthering my professional development to link myself with the Society for Mining and Exploration, Inc.’s overseas activities and becoming a active member of the Peruvian Institute of Mining Engineers. While in Peru I participated in the startup, ramp up and optimization of the Pierina Mine which in 2001 was the lowest cost major gold and silver mine in the World using world class environmental and social involvement standards. Meantime, promoted early professional development of students and Young graduates and participated in the organizing committee for the 2002 edition of the Infomina Conference which gathered the key developers of information technology in the minerals business in Latin America.
In 2002 took the challenge to join the Veladero Mine’s development team for the first major mine to be developed in the Argentina high Andes as well the highest altitude gold mine in the Southern Andes. While there in a senior leadership position we succeeded in permitting the process with a first full fledged public consultation process and were able to deliver a new mine in a low gold Price environment which met all of its targets and costs. During this development I became actively involved in the, local, San Juan Chamber of Mines, and the local classical music development society, Mozarteum Argention San Juan. This period of time was also a period during which I was able to develop a solid reputation as a professional as well as good citizen albeit being a foreigner. I also married and established a home in San Juan, Argentina.
In January 2006 decided to make a career change and took a sabbatical period during which I dedicated time to art as a painter working alongside one to the present day masters in Argentina, Carlos Gomez CenturiÃ³n, and exhibiting with him in Buenos Aires. Also worked as a Consulting Engineer.
From late 2006 through 2012 worked in a senior leadership role in the development team tasked to develop the first bi-national World class copper deposit. The El Pachon is located in Argentina next to the Chilean Border and requires developing piping, rail and seaport infrastructure in Chile. As part of the activities I led, I became an active participant in infrastructure and mining development activities undertaken by the governments of both countries in the form of local government bi-national working groups, ministry-level bi-national commissions, as well as embassy activities. During this period, a significant portion was spent working and living in Chile which allowed me to extend network with different groups of people and become an active member of the Chilean-Argentinean Chamber of Commerce and the American Chamber (AmCham) in Chile. A key success achieved during this period, beyond solid steps to advancing the US$6 billion El Pachon Project, was delivering to the San Juan – Coquimbo regional bi-national working group a solution to freight assurances required at the seaport of Coquimbo. These assurances were key to breaking the gridlock that was stalling the Agua Negra Tunnel Project to link via a modern, lower-altitude highway the two provinces in Argentina and Chile which is a much needed transit corridor for local development in both countries.
In late 2012 I was transferred to Peru where I was tasked to lead, as General Manager, the commissioning of the Antapaccay copper mine, ramping up its production and getting it operating in steady state. This was accomplished in a record time of less tan 6 months with World class environmental, safety and social involvement standards. In fact, during this process, a major social conflict between the old Tintaya Mine, 14km away and the local Community of Espinar was largely resolved – sans some long term solutions being implemented; and thus breaking a circuit of violence and distrust fed by external NGO’s and extremists who profited from the situation. Cost wise the Project was completed below Budget and operational costs were meeting expectations at the time of my departure toward the end of 2013.
I am now developing, as a founder and partner a startup Company that seeks to produce Energy on the basis of solid biofuels from specially cultivated grasses adaptable to most soils and water qualities; thus making it a clear opportunity for replacement of fuel imports into countries or locations where agricultural activities can be boosted generating opportunities for local community development, Energy self- sufficiency and carbon emissions reductions to the atmosphere. At this time, our flagship Project is located in the Dominican Republic.
Since college, I have maintained keen interest in furthering my professional education and knowledge through seminars and coursework such as Environmental Law (University of Denver), Finance (by a Colorado School of Mines professor), Creative Leadership (Center for Creative Leadership), Senior Management (CEO’s I, Kellogg School of Business).
Finally, at this time I remain committed to the development of minerals and natural resources for the development of the communities at the locations where they can be found and the well being of my community.”