Contract mining specialist Moolmans is well underway with its re-brand strategy designed to maximise on the strong heritage associated with the Moolmans name.

Now, under the leadership of new MD JEROME GOVENDER, the company’s strategy to grow, aided by the industry’s familiarity and comfort with the household contract mining name, is firmly on track, writes LAURA CORNISH.

Re-establishing itself using its former name Moolmans is strategically a smart move. The name is synonymous with open cut contract sector excellence and is a reflection of the company’s focus and direction moving forward – to grow and position itself as a leader in its field.

This article first appeared in Mining Review Africa Issue 5, 2019
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“The re-brand, which only started at the beginning of this year, has been well received by our stakeholders,” new business executive Robert Nicholson confirms, adding that the company is looking to leverage the Moolmans name into its shaft sinking and underground development service offering as well.

“We have to date completed the redesign of our website and will soon move into the next phase which entails re-branding our sites and entire mining fleet.”

With this critical element of Moolmans’ strategy now well underway, Govender, who joined the company in April 2019, is eager to help drive the company into this next growth phase.

“Moolmans is an icon in the industry. My aspiration is to embrace its history and heritage as the core of who we are – while ensuring that we become a modern business that can participate meaningfully in a rapidly changing world.

“So, I believe that Moolmans has the inherent potential to be a global player in surface and underground mining in the medium to long-term and we are driving the business in this direction,” he states.

For now, the priority is resolving immediate challenges and delivering on client expectations. “This is receiving a great deal of focus including direct support from our parent company Aveng,” Govender notes.

What work does 2019 hold in store?

The company is currently testing an autonomous Sandvik DI650i drill rig at one of its contracts in the Northern Cape.

“This is the first of its kind in Africa and we are proud to be partnering with our OEMs to promote technological improvements in the contract mining space,” Govender outlines.

This specific drill rig offers a variety of advantages including:

  • scalable automation from on-board options to full automation systems;
  • ground level access to all daily maintenance and service points;
  • most silent and ergonomic iCAB cabin in the market with excellent visibility;
  • power tramming and high level stability; and
  • intelligent hydraulic and compressor systems for better fuel efficiency.

Outside of this contract, Moolmans is working on a number of contract extensions in South Africa and sees an exciting pipeline of projects coming on board in the coming months.

The company is also currently working on two mines in West Africa and see more opportunity in this region.

“Further to this, we are fortunate to have McConnell Dowell as our sibling within the Aveng Group. McConnell Dowell has a strong presence in the Asia Pacific region. This offers us the opportunity to use their infrastructure for a potential entry into that region in the future,” Nicholson confirms.

Despite being a large-scale business with an appetite for large-scale mining contracts, Govender confirms that the company is committed to any mining client who is looking to benefit from its services – and this includes the junior market – which in most cases will contract more of the Moolmans service range due to a lack on internal resources.

This service range encompasses a full mining capability, from shaft sinking, access development, short-term waste mining and bulk earthmoving to a complete and long-term mining solution.

“It is however important that regardless of a potential new contract, we always need to understand the risk profile of a new contract which considers client, commodity, climate, currency and country.

“When targeting potential opportunities, we evaluate all of these risks to determine the strategy to pursue or not,” Govender confirms.

While Govender and his management team are looking to leverage some of their growth strategy on the Moolmans name, they respect that the work, skills and capabilities within the company need to support and deliver on the objectives and targets behind the refreshed identity.

“Our key competencies remain in owning, operating and maintaining surface and underground mining equipment and together with this we will continue to invest in our assets, both people and equipment to stay up to date with advances in the sector. This way we are assured to retain and build on our competitive edge in the mining industry,” Govender concludes.