Overcoming Adverse Conditions in Zimbabwe’s Mining Sector

Currency woes, droughts, power shortages and a lack of access to affordable funding are among the core challenges for the sector and industry at large.

By Catherine Howe

IMAGE: How Mine, courtesy of Metallon

Alongside agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, mining is a crucial sector within Zimbabwe’s economy. A country rich in a wide array of minerals including gold, diamonds, platinum, nickel, chrome and coal, many of Zimbabwe’s mineral reserves can be found along the Great Dyke, which runs from the north to the south of the country and spans a length of about 550km. Mineral resources found here primarily include platinum group metals (PGMs), gold, nickel, copper and chrome. Continue reading

Botswana: Diamonds Shine and Projects Loom

After a tough few years, Botswana seems set for fresh growth as new projects and infrastructure come on line.

By Eduardo Arcos

IMAGE: Vermeer

In 2016, the streets of Botswana were filled with blue, white and black flags, celebrating 50 years of the country’s independence. This southern African nation of just 2 million inhabitants has much to celebrate. Following its independence, the country was one of the poorest nations in the world, with virtually no developed infrastructure and economically dependent on a small beef industry. Since then, the country has undergone a dramatic transformation, becoming one of the most democratic and stable countries in the continent, as well as boasting one of the highest GDP per capita rates in Africa. In fact, from 1966 to 2014, Botswana’s GDP Continue reading

Steve Kisakye, CSR and Community Relations Practitioner/Advisor, Dalberg

Dalberg explains how the company helps guide the Tanzanian government to upgrade its social development and infrastructure.

Dalberg was founded in 2001. What are the key focus areas of the company in Tanzania?

Dalberg considers itself both a global and local company. Under the company’s partnership-based system, every country’s operation is semi-autonomous. In Tanzania we have had a presence for about five years, but we only set up our office this year, mainly operating in a number of development sectors including agriculture, education, finance and health.

I recently joined to lead the work of a new business entity (D. Implement), looking at moving from strategy into implementation. In the program that I lead, we are supporting the government to deliver in a more effective and efficient manner with a focus on the agricultural sector where there have been some significant investments, but without a major transformation in the sector. Our work involves supporting coordination of Ministries that are involved in the agriculture sector and further working closely with government counterparts at a regional level to enhance the delivery of programs. We are currently working in the Mwanza region, and will be expanding into two other regions in the next year.

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Local Companies Gain Competitiveness within Tanzania’s Mining Service Sector

Alongside the well-reputed international players, several home-grown local companies are consistently proving themselves to be competitive, offering additional advantages such as greater expertise in business culture and environment.

By Catherine Howe

Many major international companies servicing the mining sector have a footprint in Tanzania; widely recognized brands either have subsidiaries in the country or, when it comes to equipment and machinery or other products, some have selected distributors. For example, Bell Equipment is dealt exclusively through Mining Agriculture and Construction Services (MACS), which also distributes Liebherr, Terex Finlay, Cummins Engines and Class. Continue reading

Is Kenya’s Service Sector Ready to Support a Potential Influx of Mining Activity?

With major investments in the mining industry expected, Kenya must gear up its service offering

By Catherine Howe

IMAGE: Base Titanium

There are a number of service companies operating in Kenya with an excellent reputation, strong capabilities and extensive local knowledge. Panafrican Group, for example, is a major player in East Africa, providing and supporting mining equipment, and distributes Komatsu and Wirtgen brands. “A large part is knowledge of the environment and having a clear understanding of what is really possible, how long it will take and what it is going to cost,” commented Gregory Jackson, regional manager at Panafrican Group. “There is a lot of excitement in Kenya and on top of that excitement there are a lot of resourceful people in this industry with a good problem-solving attitude. There is a very strong entrepreneurial spirit, so there are a lot of good partners to work with here.” 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