Mwansa Kunda“The Kitwe facility will ultimately bring us into close proximity to our mining customers on the Copperbelt”

Exclusive interview with Mwansa Kunda, Sales & Marketing Officer, Barloworld Equipment Zambia Ltd.  Barloworld is an important sponsor at the upcoming CBM-TEC.

What products, services and projects of Barloworld Equipment are you most excited about at the moment?
2014 is a very exciting year for us at Barloworld. Firstly because the long awaited modern facility in Kitwe is nearing completion and we hope to officially open the facility in the first half of this year. What that means to our customers is that Barloworld Equipment Zambia will have an ultra-modern workshop for all specialized and general machine repairs, specialised dyno testing, undercarriage assembly, hose assembly and so much more. The Kitwe facility will ultimately bring us into close proximity to our mining customers on the Copperbelt & also in the new mining hub, North- West Province of Zambia, not forgetting our growing number of construction customers as well as local authorities.

In terms of products, we at Barloworld Equipment are happy to announce that the new Sentinel Mine at Kalumbila, North-West of Zambia, will soon start operations with our large rope shovels at the centre of the mining process. The shovels are the first of the kind in the Zambian market, and we are excited to be part of FQM’s Sentinel project. Also topping our excitement chart this year is the incredible Metso Mobile Crushing kit. We believe that this stone crushing kit is what the Quarrying industry in Zambia has been waiting for. We are proud to announce that our very first Metso Mobile Crusher kit has been delivered to Mwala Crushing, a Zambian Quarrying company based in Kabwe.

Again, we must reiterate our commitment to the historical road construction projects embarked on by the Government of the Republic of Zambia. We have supplied new motor grader units to all the 10 provinces of Zambia through the Rural Roads Unit. We have supplied, and will continue to supply various models to local authorities across the country. We are committed not only to selling a product, but to offer comprehensive customer solutions.

What makes your company competitive in this market?
At Barloworld Equipment Zambia, we believe in Working as One with our customers. We have built our reputation and comprehensive customer base not on selling machines, but on providing solutions. These solutions paired with our unrivalled aftersales support is what differentiates Barloworld Equipment from our competitors.

What would you say are the main challenges in the mining industry in Zambia?
The mining industry in Zambia faces challenges just like in many leading mining regions in the world. Perhaps the major challenge is that an economic downturn in any of the major leading world markets, such as China, may cause a slump in the overall performance of the industry. But we are steeled by the fact that the Zambian mining industry has been protected by the  macroeconomic policies pursued by all successful governments. Private investments are protected in Zambia. Mining laws are reviewed from time to time to suit prevailing global economic trends, however long-term stability remains largely unchallenged within the Zambian context.

What is your vision for the sector?
To be the market leader by providing customers with the lowest total owning  and operational costs over the life of the machine.

What advice would you give a prospective foreign investor who is interested in investing in Zambia’s mining sector?
Our advice to prospective foreign investors interested in investing in Zambia’s mining sector would be that, first of all, come and learn how mining is done in Zambia, and once you learn, practice what you have learnt and , go on and start mining. Just like the legendary Chinese proverb, “Go to the people. Live with them. Learn from them. Love them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. But with the best leaders, when the work is done, the task accomplished, the people will say ‘We have done this ourselves’.”

Why did you decide to partner with CBM-TEC?
We had to make a decision whether to partner with CBM-TEC or not. But when we looked at the type of exhibition and conference this would be, we realized it was sector-specific; directly relating to what our business stands for.

What will be your message at the event?
Our message at this event will be the same message we have carried over the years: Barloworld Equipment believes in mutually beneficial partnerships with customers, in other words, in Working as One. Our strategic planning therefore looks ahead not only to the future of our business but to the future of our customers’ businesses so that we can continue to provide appropriate, value adding solutions to our customer’s equipment procurement and management needs.

What are you most looking forward to at CBM-TEC in April?
This industry is quite time strapped. Everyone is busy. We rarely get together in one place. This event will provide us a platform to meet various players in the industry in one place. We look forward to interacting with our existing customers and would-be customers.

Anything you would like to add?
Barloworld Equipment Zambia cordially welcomes all participants, investors (both existing and prospecting), government dignitaries and all stakeholders to this inaugural Copperbelt Mining Trade Exhibition and Conference at Mist Gardens, Kitwe. Make the most of this event, and your business will never be the same again!