Fri, 25/05/2018 - 05:35
Current Issue 69
Somika’s dedication to continuous improvement is helping to realise a better tomorrow, both for the company and for the wider DRC economy
Project Manager: Donovan Smith
Largely virtue of a strong business partnership with Vinmart Group, Somika S.P.R.L (Societe Minere Du Katanga) continues to evolve as one of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s foremost mining and mineral processing entities; setting benchmarks across industrial operations and wider local upliftment.
Established in 2001, the Company is now renowned for its production of high quality copper and cobalt products, compounded by an internal structure that boasts the very best in modern-day machinery and equipment.
“Equipped with a state-of-the-art laboratory for the procurement and processing of minerals, grading, crushing, drying and packaging, Somika sets global standards for the mining of cobalt and copper,” the Company affirms on its website. “Presently, Somika is distinguished among the leading exporters of cobalt and copper products in the DRC.”
Much more than this though, Somika’s strongest attribute comes from its role as a social enabler, the business’s continuous growth lending to numerous employment opportunities and peripheral sector enrichment.
As many as 1,500 local citizens are employed by the Company, while Somika also offers business opportunities to service sectors around its local region of Lubumbashi, including banking, insurance, transport, sampling, and inspection agencies.
“Apart from its strong business relationship with Vinmart, Somika is also committed to various business associates in different regions across the globe, such as South Africa, Zambia and Tanzania; to Hong Kong, China, Dubai and India,” the Company continues. “With such strong business relationships, a global logistics network, and years of experience in the mining and mineral industry, Somika endeavours to ensure continuous improvement.”
And such levels of continuous improvement naturally translate into almost unrivalled business success. Spread across the Katanga Province of the DRC, Somika continues to capitalise on one of the largest copper and cobalt belts in the world; and the 20 million tonnes (10 percent of the world’s resource) of copper metal unit comprised within.
A better tomorrow
“Our interest in copper and cobalt started from the year 2002, when we first setup a cobalt processing plant in Lubumbashi, the Capital of Katanga province and the hub of the mining industry,” the Company adds. “Our facility is now spread over 120 acres in Lubumbashi with an inhouse power plant of 22MW for plant operations which are controlled through PLC-bases systems.”
Striving for efficiencies as well as quality across this facility, Somika has – since day one – stayed true to a set of core philosophies, procedures and policies to achieve optimum utilisation of both natural and human resources. This, in turn, has helped leverage the rise of a country whose economy comes with its challenges but has abundant opportunities.
“D.R. Congo is a developing economy, and there are certain challenges. However, the founding shareholders of Somika’s strong commitment to success and development have satisfactorily overcome these obstacles.
“The Company is well-connected with its committed business associates, and with an established logistics network across the globe, coupled with years of operating experience in D. R. Congo, Somika is poised to enhance its mining and mineral processing operations for a better tomorrow.”
But the better tomorrow doesn’t necessarily mean just a better tomorrow for Somika, rather for the DRC as a whole, and perhaps the Company’s greatest, and most commendable asset derives from its numerous local community programmes across areas of health, education and civic amenities.
Commitment to excellence
Mining inevitably “impacts the local ecological balance and environmental conditions”, and Somika has therefore taken it upon itself to try and mitigate this direct impact by adopting a greener, more sustainable and innovative approach to mineral processing; while indirectly influencing the local region via all aforementioned social avenues.
“Somika believes sustained and progressive improvement is the way of life,” the business explains. “[We want] to keep our most important asset and qualitative base of human resources live and competitive in the dynamic world, and we have a global corporate plan for continuous upgradation and development.”
Ultimately, this harks back to an overriding mission and vision which was established upon Somika’s inception back in 2001 and that remains as pertinent as ever today.
The Company concludes: “Somika has always focused on quality and believed that without quality there is no survival. Our mission has always been geared on the road to our commitment to excellence.
“Our vision is to be among the privileged global market leaders of the mining and mineral processing industry by means of consistent and channelled efforts towards excellence.”