Momentum is picking up in demand levels from the commodities sector for companies like Weba Chute Systems, who has been able to quickly adapt to Covid-19 conditions.
According to Mark Baller, managing director of Weba Chute Systems, the past financial year certainly had its challenges, but performance was better than expected and, more importantly, the outlook for the future looks robust. The company has embraced remote working and digital communication technologies, ensuring that orders are fulfilled both locally and abroad.
“Among the exciting projects we have been able to pursue despite the pandemic is the supply of transfer chutes to a Turkish gold mine expansion,” says Baller. “We already have about 40 chutes in this plant, and have manufactured and delivered another batch recently – making up the bulk of chutes operating in this facility.”
Work in the southern African region has forged ahead, spurred on by an active manganese sector in South Africa’s Northern Cape province, where Weba Chute Systems has been integrally involved for the past two decades. At one mine expansion, the company has supplied over a dozen of its custom‑engineered chute systems.
There have also been sales into Zimbabwe’s platinum sector, which shows considerable promise for further growth in the near future. While the diamond industry has not been having an easy time, Weba Chute Systems has continued its relationship with producers in Botswana, both in the maintenance of equipment and in the occasional supply of new units. Ongoing business continues to come from mining customers in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Namibia. The company also runs an operation in Australia, where most activity is focused on retrofitting and maintenance, he says.
“Physically getting onto mine sites has been a challenge with the waves of Covid-19 infections leading to varying levels of travel and other restrictions,” he says. “Our network of local agents and technical partners around the world has been vital in helping us meet customer requirements through this difficult time.”
Baller highlights that these partners are chosen on the strength of their technical expertise and facilities, as well as their local market knowledge and understanding of customer requirements. To enhance their effectiveness in delivering quality service, Weba Chute Systems also provides intensive training to its agents on various aspects of its chute manufacture, installation and maintenance.