A Model of Excellence
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Arron Rampling
SENET is offsetting industry-wide struggles to ensure the ongoing and consistent provision of cost-efficient solutions in 2016, staying true to a client-focused commitment to quality that has thrived on the continent for more than 25 years.
The Company would have been forgiven for dampening its quarter-century celebrations a year previously as the prolonged slowdown across its core copper and gold mining markets inevitably took their toll, but the reliance on internal flexibilities and diversities has had the desired effect for SENET as it continues to not only consolidate, but improve its offering within the sector.
“It is no secret that the mining industry is facing some challenging times at the moment, as it battles through a lower commodity cycle. SENET however, continues to provide cost economic solutions to mining clients, which during 2015 enabled us to weather the storm and secure future work,” affirms the Company’s New Business Development Director, Darren Naylor.
The continuation of numerous processing plant developments across West and Central Africa cemented such evolutions towards the end of 2015 and the goal for the new year will now comprise a healthy balance between further internal refinement and methodical service development; as always, with its clients’ best interests in mind.
“The primary focus for 2016 is on doing the same thing, but better. And better than our competitors,” Naylor continues. “The focus is currently on efficiencies and engineering excellence. A greater sales emphasis is also being placed on our bulk materials handling expertise, which is an area of business that SENET was founded upon and still remains very much an area of key competence.
“SENET appreciates the challenges that mining clients have in the current climate and we have adapted our service offering to be flexible and tailor-made, with a greater emphasis on developing cost-effective projects.
“A phased approach to project development is also something that we encourage and assist clients with options to consider in this regard. Times are tough, but if we leverage what we are good at to assist mining clients to get through the difficult period, we can ensure survival.”
Busy in 2016
Such wholesome and collaborative philosophies emanate across all levels of the business, with SENET also remaining a strong employer of choice throughout the industry slowdown, and achieving very low turnover of staff in the process.
This all stands the Company in great stead when it comes to its bread and butter of operations: the projects themselves.
“SENET will be commissioning the TrueGold Karma project in Burkina Faso at the end of the first quarter of 2016 and has also secured further expansion work with Tiger Resources for the Kipoi project in the DRC,” Naylor explains. This coupled with engineering work for Glencore’s Mopani Mine in Zambia and KCC mine in DRC will keep SENET busy during 2016.”
With the likes of Tiger Resources and Glencore on board, SENET’s position at the forefront of copper projects in the region especially is a natural consequence of the 17 successful projects having been completed in that commodity domain in just eight years.
Additionally, more works including a milling in raffinate process have also been carried out as a showcase of SENET’s vast service array; leading to improved recoveries as well as lower water consumption and lower operating costs.
From an internal expenditure perspective, “SENET has rolled out the final stage of implementation of its MS Dynamics management system which is now a fully operational integrated management system, including effective cost and project management controls”.
The same ethos of efficient collaboration and enrichment is integrated into the Company’s corporate social responsibility functions also, through the support of numerous local charities and compounded by a strong culture of skills development via in-house graduate trainee programmes.
Bridging business and charity elements, SENET also offers support to all clients from an environmental and social perspective, for the betterment of overall industry standards, and to ensure that all parties in a particular project are complying with necessary regulations and requirements.
The ability to do so stems from a much deeper culture within the organisation as a whole, starting from the top, down.
“SENET retains a flat management structure with nimble decision-making ability,” Naylor says. “The next generation executive team members are now well entrenched in their respective portfolios and geared for client-focused solutions and adaptability to market conditions. SENET is not rigid in its service offering and flexibility remains a key selling point.”
Blending this Group culture with a supply chain benefiting from 25 years of careful formulation has resulted in a potent final offering for an industry in short supply of success stories in recent years on the continent. SENET remains positive though that a substantial improvement is still on the horizon.
“SENET has well-established alliances with complementary service providers, such as resource and mining consultancies, geotechnical and tailings consultancies, and also construction groups; and we remain a credible partner to all,” Naylor concludes. “SENET’s strategy and focus has always been to become excellent at what we do and then to partner with others who are excellent at what they do. This is unlike many, who rather choose to be a one-stop shop. Our model is excellence, first and foremost.
“I would like to believe that SENET’s focus on excellence, flexibility and cost-efficiency will be acknowledged in the market place and that, in turn, this will give ourselves and our clients an advantage when the market does indeed turn.”