Daniel Major, CEO – GoviEx Uranium

MACIG Connect Series

GoviEx Uranium describes its African strategy where it has acquired three advanced stage uranium projects.

GoviEx has three advanced stage uranium projects in Zambia, Niger, and Mali. How has the company turned the perceived risks of these projects into opportunities? 

From a project perspective, we have found that being in Africa actually helps. For example, because we are in a developing region, export credit agencies (ECAs) tend to be supportive, whereas they may be less likely to offer assistance in a developed country. GoviEx has been in discussion with a number of ECAs, predominantly on a procurement basis, because we have not yet defined our off-takers and we have found a few ECAs that are potentially interested in providing insurance coverage for the full amount of our debt. The underlying funding banks are then more comfortable with being involved. Particularly in relation to our Madaouela project, people tend to believe we will have difficulty funding our project because it is in Niger, but we now have a number of commercial banks working through our data room.

What is the company’s strategic advantage in offering this geographically diversified portfolio of projects? Continue reading

Mwaba Coster, General Manager of Hearmes Mining and Trading

MACIG Connect Series

Hearmes is involved in supporting the early stages of mines in Zambia and endeavors to foster local talent.

How has Hearmes Mining and Trading managed to weather the various commodity cycles, and what is your outlook for the future as the copper price begins to show signs of sustained recovery?

Our company has been in operation for over 19 years, working with companies from the beginning of their operations through to production to provide services ranging from engineering consultancy to suppliers of labor and equipment. During that time, we have used the periods of high investment in Zambia to grow our business and position ourselves to serve international and local businesses by essentially mechanizing the mines. When we were hit by the Global Financial Crisis and the mines had to scale back, contractors such as ourselves were also impacted. However, the mines are beginning to show signs of stability again and we are therefore also beginning to benefit from the opportunities that growth affords. 

How has Hearmes seen the changing attitudes towards safety management impact its service offerings? Continue reading

Hervé Boyer, Managing Director, Stanbic Bank Cote d’Ivoire

MACIG Connect Series

Stanbic Bank has a presence in 20 African countries and is now opening a branch in Cote d’Ivoire.

Stanbic Bank intends to open its first Cote d’Ivoire branch in July 2017. What is the company’s vision for this specific market?

In line with Standard Bank Group’s digital strategy, we are making a sizeable investment in our banking system infrastructure, and we hope to play a role in the digital transformation of the banking system in Cote d’Ivoire. Initially we will focus on corporate and investment banking, as well as existing clients who already operate in Cote d’Ivoire and the region. Looking ahead in our strategic delivery, we will explore obtaining more local clients and we may also eventually move into retail banking.

What have been the most significant obstacles in bringing the bank into full operation, and conversely, what strategic advantages does the company enjoy?  Continue reading

Kevin Peacocke, CEO, APT Processing

MACIG Connect Series

During the downturn, APT Processing benefitted from a rise in artisanal mining throughout the continent.

How did APT fare the downturn in the mining sector?

We suffered in the downturn as well, everybody did. But we suffered less so because we are very broadly based. Our clients go from artisanal miners to the majors. The smaller players pay less attention to economic trends, they are mostly concerned about growing their businesses. There are hundreds of people like these and you need only reach a small fraction of them. Therefore, we have a division within our business especially for smaller clients, not only because it is the right thing to do but because they are very loyal and they always come back to us whenever they need us. In this regard, we have found a very specific niche and it is what got us through the tough times. Therefore, we can say that we used the slump to consolidate our business.

What new products have been introduced to grow APT’s business? Continue reading

Ruben Govender and Charnie-Lee Kruger, Key Account Managers, Mining, Scania

MACIG Connect Series

Scania actively engages with customers to solve their transport equipment needs, giving the company a competitive edge.

Could you provide an overview of Scania’s regional and South African operations? How important is South Africa for Scania?

Ruben Govender (RG) and Charnie-Lee Kruger (CL): Scania has eight focus markets around the world and is truly global and shares expertise between the regions it operates in. In South Africa, specifically, there are 1,800 mines and we try to see around 10% of them every year. We have vast experience in mining, and this is important because our vehicles are very specific; we need to understand the conditions our customers are mining in, the methods they are using, the types of ore and tonnages they are extracting, and the road systems around their mines. We do not only sell vehicles, but offer service solutions that ensure maximum up-time and productivity. The vehicles may look the same, but their internal systems are quite different. We often sell customers a range of different vehicles, but traditionally our business is focused on tipper and side tipper trucks.

Southern Africa is a very important market for Scania Mining and although we have traditionally been known for the long-haulage business, there are extensive opportunities for us to grow our revenue and profitability in this sector. We offer transport solutions across the entire mining cycle, from exploration to port.

How difficult has it been for Scania to maintain a constant fleet of vehicles in such tough times for the industry? Continue reading

Mzila Mthenjane Executive Head, Stakeholder Accountability, Exxaro Resources

MACIG Connect Series

Exxaro is experimenting with the ‘Internet of Things’, and it will probably be embedded throughout the business in two to three years.

What have been the major developments for Exxaro in the last year?

2016 has been characterized by our continued response to the downturn in commodity prices. Exxaro is largely invested in coal, which makes up almost all its revenue, but also has significant minority investments in iron ore, titanium, ferro-silicon and zinc. In iron ore, we have a 20% interest in SIOC, and recently disposed of a project in the Republic of Congo, Brazzaville. We also have a ca44% equity interest in Tronox, as well as a 26% interest in its local operations, which provide the feedstock for manufacturing pigment. We have a 26% interest in Black Mountain Mining, a zinc operation based in the Northern Cape. Each of these operations has faced historically low prices – in iron they have even come down to less than a third of their peak Continue reading

Stephen Smithyman, CEO, Kanu Equipment

MACIG Connect Series

Kanu Equipment has identified after sales support and customer engagement to be their main competitive advantages.

Can you provide us with a brief overview on Kanu Equipment and its operations?

The business started four years ago. We started in the Republic of Congo, renting machinery for the construction sector. Our first exposure with the mining sector was through one of the mines of Exxaro. Since then we have expanded into Ghana, where we are very strong in the artisanal gold sector. We represent Bell and Liebherr in many west African countries. Although there has certainly been a downturn in mining, this has not affected us greatly. In fact, we have seen growth in Ghana, Ivory Coast and Liberia. We are also expanding into Sierra Leone with two mining projects for which we will provide the earthmoving equipment. In southern Africa, we are very strong in Botswana, with Debswana being our largest customer. BCL was also one of our largest clients prior to its liquidation. The reason why we have not suffered greatly from the mining slump is because we perform very well in after sales support and spare parts delivery. We believe we have the right business model to survive the slump.

What are the particularities of the African regions where you operate in in terms of logistics and import duties? Continue reading