As Africa’s premier contract miner, Moolmans has supported the mining industry with specialised services for over 60 years. We explore the company’s customer centric culture with Managing Director, Jerome Govender.
“Mining is vital to our economy and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.”
The above statement was made earlier this year by President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. The President added that players in the mining industry should, “grasp the opportunities that exist in this sector, so that mining can help guide our path to a more inclusive and equitable economy”.
As a contract mining company with more than 60 years’ experience across the African continent, Moolmans understands better than most the role that mining can play in helping to achieve Africa’s development goals. This vision is also closely aligned to that of Moolmans’ parent company, the Aveng Group, which is to provide a better life for its stakeholders, including shareholders, employees, customers and the communities that host its operations.
Offering comprehendsive services in both surface and underground applications and across various commodities, Moolmans has earned a strong reputation in the industry for exceptional reliability and performance.
“For us, being Africa’s premier contract miner means that not only do we demonstrate the highest standards of safety, keen environmental management and exemplary social responsibility, but our people also love working for us, our host communities celebrate our presence, and our customers choose us to execute large and complex projects,” comments Jerome Govender, Managing Director at Moolmans.
A renewed focus on increasing work in hand has seen Moolmans tendering for contracts for existing clients and new projects, both in South Africa and beyond the country’s borders, with a specific focus on West Africa and South African Development Community (SADEC) countries.
“We are thrilled that in the past few months, we have successfully concluded a number of high-value contract renewals at some of our largest projects,” shares Govender. “This is testament to the value-added relationships we have with our customers and the confidence they have in our abilities to deliver according to plan.”
A MODEL MINING COMPANY
With decades of executing quality projects for blue chip customers and a history of working in remote and difficult environments, Moolmans’ success is based on several key factors.
A strengthened executive team brings diverse expertise and extensive experience, along with a new energy and innovative ideas, to invigorate the growth of the business. In addition, the mining company’s senior operational team has a combined experience of almost 500 years, with each member averaging around 20 years in the industry. Complementing this is a workforce of nearly 3,000 employees, including – among others – skilled and experienced operators, disciplined project managers, qualified engineers, safety, health, environment and quality (SHEQ) professionals and a range of support staff, all grounded in a culture that is completely customer centric.
“We pride ourselves on our collaborative approach, working closely with our customers and suppliers to identify and implement improvements that will drive down unit costs and optimise efficiencies,” explains Govender.
Importantly, Moolmans operates one of the largest and most diverse fleets of mining equipment in Africa and, thanks to the Aveng Group, has the balance sheet strength to supplement that fleet with specialised and additional equipment if the project demands it. Further, the company employs sophisticated maintenance software to achieve the highest levels of equipment reliability and volume production.
In recent years, Moolmans has achieved notable improvements in recovery for key customers on the back of the implementation of advanced control technologies. Maximising production volumes is largely dependent on optimal equipment efficiencies and predictability, which in turn is reliant on proven and robust maintenance strategies.
Moolmans implements three levels of intervention, underlining a shift to a more technology-driven digital approach to ensuring high maintenance maturity.
Firstly, the online asset maintenance tool (AMT) is applied throughout its operations to provide real-time visibility of asset performance, condition and cost, which ensures issues are identified and managed as soon as they arise. Secondly, its intensive ‘27 step’ maintenance management procedure allows the mining company to consistently deliver high levels of equipment availability and utilisation. Thirdly, Moolmans employs the SENSMINING production management system to optimise onsite safety and productivity by recording critical data in the production environment and applying state-of-the-art operator safety features.
Robust and dynamic risk management is an important part of the company’s strategic business processes and a key element in achieving its vision and protecting its hard-won business reputation. This includes responsible stewardship of the natural environments in which Moolmans operates and ensuring respect for and the upliftment of the communities which host its diverse and widespread operations.
“As a contract mining operator we are often not as deeply rooted in local communities as the mining rights holders. However, we are committed to ensuring all our mining operations are geared towards delivering maximum benefit to the local communities through our intensive localisation approach and training strategies,” Govender explains.
Moolmans largely achieves this through employing local community members to execute works, training and developing local citizens in mining and other portable skills, andimplementing agreed community development strategies.
Moolmans is an accredited training provider through the Mining Qualification Authority (MQA) in South Africa and typically establishes training centres on all major sites to facilitate employee training, which is fundamental to delivering on the company’s commitment to high-performance and reliability. Regular successful compliance audits by the Department of Minerals Resources and Energy on Moolmans’ training strategy, processes and facilities speak volumes of the quality of training delivered by the company, which helps to optimise safety of operations, reduce machine downtime and increase productivity.
The company also routinely trains previously unskilled people from the local communities to operate, service and maintain advanced mining equipment. Moolmans can proudly boast that it has upskilled more than 1,000 people to operate surface mobile machinery. In certain instances, recruits from the local community have also progressed through the ranks to supervise mining operations to the highest standards of safety and productivity.
“The global mining industry is on an upward trend on the back of positive commodity price outlook for the medium to longer term. I am confident that Moolmans is well-positioned to take advantage of this upswing, with premier people, premier equipment and premier systems ready to deliver strong and sustained customer value,” concludes Govender.