Mincon West Africa has built a rep­u­ta­tion upon years of first­hand in­dus­try knowl­edge, cre­at­ing an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand its oper­a­tions in the fu­ture

Africa Outlook - - Front Page - Writer: Phoebe Calver Project Man­ager: Dono­van Smith

Bet­ter qual­ity equals bet­ter cost ef­fi­ciency

Mincon West Africa was in­cor­po­rated in Au­gust, 2010 in Sene­gal, form­ing one of the branches of the Mincon Group PLC fam­ily tree.

With the com­bi­na­tion of the par­ent com­pany’s four decades of en­gi­neer­ing ex­per­tise and that of Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Martin van Ge­mert, with his hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence of the min­ing in­dus­try, has en­sured the suc­cess of Mincon West Africa.

“We opened the West African of­fice with the aim of us­ing our first-hand knowl­edge as an ex­cel­lent sales tool for the Mincon Group’s world-class down-the-hole (DTH) ham­mers and bits,” ex­plains the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor. “What started out as a small home­of­fice quickly blos­somed and we achieved an in­crease in turnover of

523 per­cent in just two years; by our third year, our ded­i­ca­tion to cus­tomer ser­vice and high-qual­ity prod­ucts en­sured we be­came a well-known name in the re­gion’s drilling and min­ing sup­ply in­dus­try.

“Our staff com­ple­ment grew and with that our sales and prof­its, with an in­creased turn over of 18 per­cent by the end of the third fi­nan­cial year. This was all achieved de­spite the dif­fi­cult trad­ing conditions at the time, call­ing for us to branch into a ded­i­cated of­fice space in Dakar.”

Since fruition, Mincon West Africa’s key value propo­si­tion and suc­cess driver is cus­tomer ser­vice focused, with both the Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor and his team mak­ing them­selves avail­able to cus­tomers on a 24/seven ba­sis.

Fast-for­ward three years to 2016 and Mincon West Africa had made a strate­gic move to the Ca­nary Is­lands, which kept it close to its cus­tomers’ West African oper­a­tions.

“This move en­sured we wouldn’t neg­a­tively af­fect our cus­tomer­centric ap­proach or de­liv­ery times,” con­tin­ues van Ge­mert. “The move to the Euro­pean port has created an

ease with which we are able to re­ceive shipments from Mincon fac­to­ries across the world, while also stock­ing the prod­ucts in a cus­toms-bonded ware­house to ship them to West African cus­tomers as re­quired.”

In its present-day form, Mincon West Africa has a well-es­tab­lished mul­ti­lin­gual team of ex­perts and engi­neers that are ready to meet the needs of the grow­ing cus­tomer base in the re­gion.

van Ge­mert adds: “Along­side our fo­cus on cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, Mincon West Africa’s rep­u­ta­tion has grown dra­mat­i­cally with thanks to the es­tab­lished rep­u­ta­tion of our par­ent com­pany. Both the qual­ity and re­li­a­bil­ity of these Ir­ish-en­gi­neered prod­ucts has sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved the pro­duc­tiv­ity at cus­tomers’ oper­a­tions.”

Tech­ni­cal com­pe­tence

As well as its cus­tomer-cen­tric ap­proach to the mar­ket, the Com­pany in­vests sig­nif­i­cantly in both per­son­nel and machin­ery for its re­search & de­vel­op­ment (R&D) depart­ment, en­sur­ing that it has the re­sources for con­stant in­no­va­tion and evo­lu­tion in its prod­uct lines.

“These changes are in­formed by the feed­back we re­ceive from cus­tomers, demon­strat­ing a tes­ta­ment to the fa­cil­i­ta­tion of ex­cel­lent re­la­tion­ships,” van Ge­mert af­firms. “Of course, our abil­ity to in­ter­pret the feed­back and de­fine what is and isn’t pos­si­ble is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant and this comes back to the tech­ni­cal com­pe­tence of our en­gi­neer­ing team, made up of a good mix­ture of both prac­ti­cal and the­o­ret­i­cal dis­ci­plines.”

With thanks to the in­te­gra­tion of Mincon Group PLC’s re­cent ac­qui­si­tions, it is merging both sys­tems and pro­cesses in all fac­to­ries to en­sure that we have one stan­dard for the successful man­u­fac­ture of its tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced prod­ucts.

“One iconic ex­am­ple of our strengths in the mar­ket has to be our in­volve­ment in the res­cue of the 33 Chilean min­ers in 2010,” ex­plains van Ge­mert. “Fol­low­ing the cave-in, engi­neers at our head­quar­ters in Ire­land worked closely with the mine and res­cue team to de­velop a so­lu­tion that used our re­verse cir­cu­la­tion tech­nol­ogy, which was used to drill the holes that led to the res­cue of the trapped min­ers.

“We have also de­vel­oped hor­i­zon­tal di­rec­tional drilling so­lu­tions for successful hard-rock trench­less in­stal­la­tions and en­joy a strong pres­ence in the Swedish geo­ther­mal mar­ket; more re­cently we have helped de­velop cut­ting-edge drilling so­lu­tions for mag­netite iron ore drilling at the Citic Pa­cific mine in Cape Pre­ston, West­ern Aus­tralia.”

Ex­pan­sion plans

In the cur­rent cli­mate, many global mar­kets are on the up, oc­cur­ring off the back of a va­ri­ety of macroe­co­nomic fac­tors. As a re­sult of this, the ap­petite

for ex­plo­ration, min­ing and con­struc­tion on the con­ti­nent are on the rise.

The Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor con­tin­ues: “With our cur­rent ex­pan­sion plans we will be pre­pared to meet a sig­nif­i­cant share of this de­mand, es­pe­cially in West and sub-Sa­ha­ran mar­kets.

“Rock drilling has many com­plex chal­lenges within it and is an en­er­gy­in­ten­sive process to un­der­take; at Mincon we are work­ing on tech­nolo­gies to make the process far more ef­fi­cient mov­ing for­ward. We con­tin­u­ously work with our cus­tomers to over­come their chal­lenges, as well as low­er­ing the op­er­at­ing costs and im­prov­ing ef­fi­ciency.”

In or­der to achieve and over­come chal­lenges for its cus­tomers,

Mincon greatly val­ues all of its team mem­bers and places em­pha­sis on the im­por­tance of pro­fes­sional and per­sonal de­vel­op­ment in all ar­eas rel­e­vant to its busi­ness.

“Since we started this branch of the or­gan­i­sa­tion, we have re­cruited some of the in­dus­try’s best sup­ply chain and lo­gis­tic spe­cial­ists, as well as tech­ni­cal sup­port and sales engi­neers to pro­vide us with ex­pert con­sult­ing and ad­vice to cus­tomers both re­motely and on­site,” van Ge­mert de­scribes. “Where it is nec­es­sary, our new mem­bers are in­tro­duced to the global team and pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties, en­sur­ing a close fa­mil­iar­ity with prod­ucts from de­sign to man­u­fac­tur­ing.

“As we are a global or­gan­i­sa­tion at Mincon, we have in­ter­nal training pro­grammes that en­able us to both de­velop and nur­ture tal­ent. We pride our­selves on hav­ing some of the most qual­i­fied and knowl­edge­able staff in their re­spec­tive in­dus­tries, serv­ing

our clients in English, French, Span­ish, Ger­man and Por­tuguese.”

The widely ex­pe­ri­enced team in­cludes the Oper­a­tions Man­ager, An­gel Bouzas who brings many years of ex­pe­ri­ence in lo­gis­tics and cus­tomer sup­port in the West African re­gion. Tech­ni­cal Sales Man­ager, Pe­dro Cavadas, a qual­i­fied min­ing en­gi­neer with in-depth knowl­edge of the in­dus­try and Sup­port En­gi­neer Vic­tor Gomez, a qual­i­fied me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer, have all proved to be in­valu­able as­sets to the Com­pany.

Back­ing up this al­ready ex­cel­lent tech­ni­cal team are the ded­i­cated ad­min­is­tra­tive staff com­pris­ing Leti­cia Diaz, Imane Drissi, Nestor San­tana and Mary Castillo, all of which are ex­perts in fi­nance, sales and lo­gis­tics.

So­lu­tion-based skill

Over the years Mincon has spe­cialised in pro­vid­ing prod­ucts within the drill-seg­ment, rather than the cap­i­tal equip­ment such as drill rigs.

The Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor con­tin­ues: “Our fo­cus on drilling tech­nolo­gies is backed up by our on-site cus­tomer sup­port and sound tech­ni­cal ad­vice. At Mincon our engi­neers are ded­i­cated to de­vel­op­ing the best rock-drilling so­lu­tions in the world, en­sur­ing we re­main the lead­ing choice in the mar­ket.”

The Com­pany is proudly known for its ex­cep­tional ap­proach­a­bil­ity and in­no­va­tive so­lu­tion-based skill, out­rivalling its com­peti­tors by of­fer­ing them round-the-clock sup­port in the pur­suit of de­vel­op­ing tai­lored so­lu­tions.

“Mov­ing for­ward we hope to be the re­gion’s pre­ferred sup­plier for down­the-hole drilling so­lu­tions, with more than 50 per­cent of the mar­ket share,” con­cludes van Ge­mert. “We know that this will be made pos­si­ble with sup­port and prod­uct de­vel­op­ment from Mincon Group PLC, as well as our own team’s cus­tomer-cen­tric at­ti­tude.”

...At Mincon our engi­neers are ded­i­cated to de­vel­op­ing the best rock-drilling so­lu­tions in the world, en­sur­ing we re­main the lead­ing choice in the mar­ket

Mincon has ex­pan­sion plans in place to meet mar­ket de­mand

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