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Transport Features

Port to port

MMPR’s counterpart in travelling trade and technical exhibitions, Mining & Technical Exhibitions (MTE), has seen the strong link between the mining industry and ports/harbour. As such, MTE has already brought a show to world-renowned Richards Bay and will be heading towards Walvis Bay in Namibia later this year. Much can be learned from scrutinising ports or harbours in a mining context: how it began, how the situation fares and where it is going.

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Spares – reporting on aftermarket trends

By Matthew Wood – writer

Although maintenance is a topic discussed vastly in the mining industry, the transport aspect is quite vital for safety, with a focus on the aftermarket aspect.

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Those in the industry will already know the significance, and would like to hear just a few examples of what is out there in terms of reputation, innovation, and sustainability.

The ‘big boys’

Halfway through November 2014 and on the day of its announcement, a flurry of different media houses reported that Barloworld, the biggest dealer of Caterpillar mining trucks in southern Africa, announced a 7% rise in full-year profit, as after-market sales helped the logistics and heavy equipment firm overcome weakness in the mining industry and a slowdown in Russia.

Barloworld has been hit by slack demand from the mining sector. In Russia, the ongoing Ukraine crisis has also put pressure on demand.

So far, US and EU sanctions against Russia have not targeted its mining sector, which has helped shield Barloworld from the worst of the fall-out from the crisis, said CEO Clive Thomson.

"Should the situation between Russia and Ukraine escalate and should heavier sanctions be imposed, it could have a more significant impact on our business there," he said.

Overall, business was underpinned by strength in after-market sales, which include parts and services for equipment previously purchased by customers.

Click here to read the full feature article on page 20 of the January/February 2015 issue of MMPR ...

Don’t miss the bus – understanding transport of staff

By Matthew Wood – staff writer

With mines scattered throughout South Africa and beyond, housing plans varying depending on which company is being referred to, not to mention unanticipated strike action, transport of mine personnel is becoming more and more of a serious issue that needs to be put in the spotlight.

Chamber of Mines senior executive: employment relations Dr Elize Strydom shared some insight.

“The transport of staff differs from one mining company to another. It depends where they are based and what type of agreements they have with the unions around transport,” said Strydom.

“You do find that in a particular company people would be transported from the local town to the mine on a daily basis and that it would be for the account of that company – that they would provide the transportation and pay for it. Or you would find (particularly in the coal mining industry), that there is a combination of having a living out allowance and an allowance for travelling.

So there are examples of mining companies providing the buses themselves, or they contract in with a bus company to transport the people for the account of the company.

Also in the case of foreign migrant labour, provisions are made for the transport of people. “We have to do it in terms of the international treaties that exist between South Africa and Mozambique, or Swaziland, or Lesotho, where part of the treaty is that you would ensure safe transportation of the mineworkers to the mine and back to the labour sending area, wherever it is. We do provide buses over the Easter weekend and we also have to make arrangements with the border posts.

It has been arranged with the Department of Home Affairs. We will say to them two months beforehand in April on these days in this week we’re going to have to have so many buses leaving for Lesotho, be ready at the post etc…. So that has to be done in terms of the treaties, and those treaties have been in place for many, many years.

Machines of the earth

MMPR recently explored transport solutions in both the underground and opencast applications of mining. We’ve investigated earthmoving equipment and we bring what is out there, why it’s innovative, safe or environmentally friendly to you.Back in the early days, the earthmoving machine amounted to the hand shovel. Its source of energy: humans or animalpowered sleds and barges.

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