MIP Process Technologies

Level 1 black-owned and black-managed process equipment specialist MIP Process Technologies truly understands the key to success.

The company has grown significantly, even during the mining sector’s darkest economic periods.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 9, 2019
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With absolute commitment to meeting its customers’ every need, the company has evolved and transitioned to stay relevant in a climate still driven by economic challenges, writes LAURA CORNISH

The foundation blocks upon which MIP was built, and still operates today, represents the ideal combination of characteristics required to flourish in a globally unstable mining industry.

While most of its peers comprise global conglomerates, the company has carefully navigated its expansion and while financially capable of competing on large-scale project work, has retained a small, flexible and technically sound structure that makes its offering irresistible to the market.

“We have not relied on our BEE credentials alone to drive our business,” says CEO Philip Hoff. “We truly understand the importance of giving our customers value for money, which in essence means a technically sound understanding of their equipment needs and delivering upon those with the right quality product at the right time.”

Married with this service offering is the company’s hands-on approach, flexible decision making structure and commitment to go above and beyond to help a customer in their greatest hour of need.

“It is however essential that we stay abreast of market conditions at all times in order to adapt our business accordingly, and the mining industry is still constantly evolving,” Hoff continues. “Optimised processes are non-negotiable today, and require service providers such as ourselves to deliver unparalleled service delivery, technically sounded experts across the spectrum and unwavering focus to their every need.”

Consequently, Hoff at this start of 2019 took the decision to restructure the business to meet these industry requirements, establishing a holding company – MIP Industries – with a number of wholly-owned subsidiary businesses operating and focusing on different and more specific elements of the core business. He retains his position as CEO of the group and of its subsidiary companies.

The companies, registered in January, started trading in March and are all (except MIP Global) Level 1 BEE compliant – with 100% black ownership and personnel as well.

This is of significance considering 70% of all MIP Industries’ business is generated from within South Africa.

MIP Global

The global MIP business has continued to build on the widespread footprint established through the original MIP and is currently executing work in Asia, Lesotho, Botswana and Zambia.

“The majority of our work currently stems from Asia where we are executing the delivery of two 35 m diameter thickeners, a 25 m diameter thickener with associated flocculant plants,” Hoff says. To ensure the projects are executed to the expected ‘MIP standard’ – Hoff has employed full time local personnel who understand expectations and will further facilitate securing new work in the future.

MIP Process Equipment

This subsidiary represents the former MIP Process Technologies business and is focused on tendering for and designing the company’s full range of process equipment – thickeners, clarifiers, flocculant plants and linear screens. It has also retained its African distribution agreement for a European-based company’s range of peristaltic pumps which Hoff says boasts more than 25 years of operating experience in Africa alone.

“Our pump business has performed exceptionally well over the last year and is outperforming competitor products on the market, whose life in some instances lasts no longer than four to six weeks whereas ours have been in operation for over a year with no operational difficulties,” Hoff affirms.

One of the company’s most recent projects – the supply of an additional 21 m thickener required to assist a chrome-focused client increase overall plant throughput – delivered such significant increases in recoveries that the client was able to pay the entire project upgrade off in just six weeks. “Our thickener is producing much cleaner water which has enabled the improved performance of the plant’s spirals.”

This success has led to additional work for MIP Process Equipment which now entails the refurbishment of the customer’s existing 20-year old thickener. Projects of this nature has in fact become a significant portion of MIP Process Equipment’s work at present – which represents significant opportunities in South Africa’s mature mining industry.

MIP Projects

The MIP Projects business is focused on the delivery and installation of all MIP Process equipment. With four crews in the field at present, the business is at full capacity and through its focus on service delivery is insuring the fastest possible erection and commissioning timeframes.

“Our work at present extends into the gold, chrome, PGM and andalusite sectors,” Hoff outlines.

MIP Environmental

MIP was in 2018 awarded the contract to build the largest sulphur dioxide cleaning plant in the world, commissioned earlier this year. Although the project was undertaken by the original MIP Process Technologies, work of this nature will be managed by MIP Environmental moving forward.

The plant is designed to meet very stringent emissions output and treats 380 000 Am³/hour – and demonstrates the company’s full capabilities in this field, which are more extensive than what is

currently on offer by similar industry players. “We are the only company on the African continent that can supply all the equipment for an entire gas cleaning plant,” Hoff emphasises.

Further to this, the company offers its own proprietary hood design and process which effectively captures gases during the tapping process in furnaces.

On this back of a growing track record in this field and high-level technical expertise, MIP Environmental is busy – undertaking a v variety of smaller-scale projects in the gas cleaning business at present, which includes contracts to compile reports on potential customers’ gas cleaning needs.