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MEI Online: General Minerals Engineering: Latest News: September 2nd 2003

:: Multotec Committed to Zambia and African Mining Operations  

The recognition that Africa has major mineral potential which needs to be realised in the next ten to twenty years has seen the Multotec Group remain completely committed to its operation in Zambia.

This is according to Roy Roche, business development manager at Multotec Manufacturing, who explains that the group has taken a long term view and is committed to serving its customer base in the region. In April 2001, the Multotec Group opened Multotec Zambia in Chingola, in the heart of the copper belt with the express purpose of providing both product and technology to mines within Zambia, the DRC and surrounding regions.

"Multotec is the major shareholder in this venture, however the group has recognised the need to create employment in these countries as well as to facilitate skills and technology transfer wherever possible," Roche says.

Currently the management of the company falls under a designated process engineer who has extensive project experience, however in the long term Multotec plans to train local people to run its operation. The operation is more consumable based at present and has a limited local manufacturing capability with its objective being to reduce the operating costs and increase efficiencies of mines in the region.

Roche is quick, however, to point out that Multotec does not just look at consumables, but adopts a holistic solutions driven approach to its products with the main aim to partnership with mine in the region. Known as pioneers in the southern African minerals beneficiation industry, the group has a lot to offer the African mining industry, namely, a comprehensively locally manufactured linked product range which is already exported to targeted markets throughout the world.

"Conditions are very similar to those in South Africa, and this underscores the synergy in developing and supporting markets up into Africa," Roche says. "The mining environment is robust and high wear rates are experienced just like we have in South Africa. This means that often the implementation of the solution is basically the same, with the products already having a proven track record in our country."

"Technically skilled individuals with sound metallurgical backgrounds are available to assist in reducing running costs on mines and making processes more efficient. This will obviously contribute to the survival of many of these operations," he says.

Commenting on the socio-economic implications of its investment in Zambia, Roche says that certain components are already being manufactured in that country and the group is currently looking at ways to increase this. In addition, the majority of the installation work is being sub-contracted out to local companies providing work and job creation where it is needed most.

"Our commitment to this region goes back much further. We have been supplying products and technical support to mines in this region for well over twelve years, and we have now formalised the arrangement as part of our ongoing commitment to the region," Roche concludes.

The Multotec Group, which has served the southern African and latterly the international mining industry for more than 29 years, is made up of six separate business entities.

Included in the manufacturing group product line-up are high alumina ceramic wear resistant tiles and epoxies, specialised wear resistant composites, basalt wear linings, centrifuge baskets, conveyor belt fastening systems, cyclones, interstage screens, polyurethane flotation components, polyurethane screening systems, rubber mill linings, samplers, spirals, trommel screens, wedgewire screening systems, fibreglass grating, inter-particle crushers, screen bowl and basket centrifuges.

The Multotec group is ISO 9001/9002 accredited, and through its ongoing product development initiatives continues to supply cost efficient minerals processing and materials handling solutions.



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