Modern Mining December 2017


role the client engineer plays during the design phase of the equipment, it is critical to have these capabilities in our local office to ensure a successful project. The local engineering office allows for constructive reviews and integration of requirements with the customer in line with the specifications on a short turnaround time. “Whilst we regularly make use of our other design facili- ties across the globe – in Germany, Brazil, Australia, the USA and India, to name a few – we have found that to be really competitive in any local market you firstly need to understand the local requirements and you need to

only see new mines being established but also new rail links and port facilities. We have the ability to assist at every stage of these projects.” Steyn makes the point that as part of a global group, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions South Africa often finds itself working outside its normal geographical area of operation. “We’re currently contributing to a project in Saudi Arabia, for example. It is being executed by our Chinese office but we’re providing support. Similarly, we’re assisting our French office with the engineering for projects in Morocco and Mauritania.” Finally, and on the subject of skills, Steyn notes that there has been an enormous loss of capacity at the artisan level in South Africa. “We’re addressing this by expanding our own in-house training efforts and, among other things, we’re currently building a purpose- designed training centre at our Chloorkop facility. It is intended primarily to service our own needs but it will also be available to train employees of our customers where appropri- ate. We see the training centre as being a key strategic investment, which will ensure that we continue to have the in-house skills to install, service and maintain thyssenkrupp installa- tions all over Africa.” thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions South Africa has a positive outlook on the market and are adapting their skills and strategy to ensure they are well positioned to meet the current and future demands of customers in South Africa and Africa. With the support of the global group, they remain a supplier focussed on conquering their market. 

have a decent local footprint and capabilities – from sales and design to operate and maintain. “As far as fabrication is concerned, the deci- sion of where to fabricate is simply driven by the total project cost – a combination of fabrica- tion, quality control, assembly and logistics. We certainly still have the capability and strive to manufacture here in South Africa – as we have done many times in the past – but we of course have to be competitive,” observes Steyn. Turning to the pit-to-port concept, Le Roux says that the scale and often remote locations of modern mining projects, particularly in respect of bulk commodities such as iron ore, mean that mining companies are tending to look for suppliers who can provide an all-in-one turn- key service – from the pits where the material is extracted through to the ports from which it is exported. “They don’t want to have to interface with multiple companies,” he says. “Dealing with a single supplier is more efficient and ensures that the different parts of a materials handling system are fully compatible with each other. We look at projects holistically to ensure that we deliver to customers systems that optimise material quality, flow and capacities at every stage of the pit-to-port process. “Given current conditions, there are not too many projects of this type under development at the moment but we have identified these in the past and there will definitely be more of them in the future,” he states. “We see par- ticular opportunities in West Africa in respect of iron ore and bauxite where some mining houses are pursuing projects which will not

The service centre in Chloorkop provides a full servicing capability for all thyssenkrupp brands and equipment.

“We look at projects holistically to ensure that we deliver to customers systems that

optimise material quality, flow and capacities at

every stage of the pit-to-port process.”


December 2017  MODERN MINING  29

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