Vedanta, through its South African subsidiary Black Mountain Mining, has awarded Gulfstream Energy, one of South Africa’s larger independent fuel wholesalers, the sole supply of a total fluid management solution to the Gamsberg zinc project in the Northern Cape.

Effective as at 1 August 2015, the agreement will see Gulfstream responsible for a fully supported fuel management solution for the Vedanta Gamsberg mine, in addition to the supply of all fuel in support of the mine’s operations.

“This is of huge significance to Gulfstream Energy,” says Shane Jegels, CEO. “Not only does it enable us to make inroads into a market sector traditionally the stronghold of the oil majors, but it is also unique with no other mining company to date having awarded a contract of this nature to an independent non-refining player.”

“Fuel is one of the major procurement components required to keep a mine operational,” says Jegels. However, the manner in which mining companies procure fuel is slightly different to other commercial entities. “Mining operations typically require a managed solution.”

Response to this market demand has seen Gulfstream launch its ‘Gulfstream Molecule Management Solution’. “What this entails,” continues Jegels, “is that over and above procurement of the actual fuel products, Gulfstream takes full responsibility for both the delivery and management of a number of elements.

For its latest contract, this has seen Gulfstream invest in on-site fuel infrastructure (including fuel tanks and pumps), stock on consignment and the placement of Gulfstream staff at the Gamsberg site to co-ordinate and manage its mandate.

“In addition, we have also deployed an automated fuel management system through a third party partner, Gilbarco AFS,” continues Jegels. This allows for the effective management of all on-site fuel storage, dispensing, recording and real-time reporting providing up to the minute accurate information on fuel spend.

“We have also appointed one of the country’s only black female site managers,” continues Jegels.  A qualified electrician with numerous years’ experience across South Africa’s mining industry including the likes of De Beers, Springbok Municipality and Assmang mine, Saretha Faro hails from the Northern Cape.

Gulfstream first indicated its interest to respond to the Gamsberg site tender towards the end of last year, with discussions beginning in earnest in January this year. “With fuel one of our key procurement components, security of supply was non-negotiable,” says Deshnee Naidoo, CEO, Vedanta Zinc International.

“With its diverse supplier network, comprising over 26 depots and refineries around the country, we were confident that Gulfstream Energy would be able to meet our requirements.” In addition, Gulfstream’s track record, capability and experience across the entire supply chain further reinforced its ability to be able to deliver the total fluid management solution required.

“It has also provided us with the opportunity to take an empowerment partner into a market sector previously not available to them,” continues Naidoo. Further, with its 100% black-women owned, Level 2 B-BBEE and empowering supplier status, Gulfstream can guarantee its customers are able to claim 125% of spend in support of their own preferential procurement and B-BBEE rating.

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