Local smelter and mineral processing furnace contractor the Dickinson group has made its public debut into the mining sector after establishing its new mining division one year ago.
The refractory specialist has introduced two international product ranges to the local underground mining market, including Peru-based Resemin – which manufactures underground drilling, roof-bolting and long-hole rigs – and Spain-based Putzmeister Underground – which provides shotcreting and concrete-mixing solutions for underground mining.
Resemin and Putzmeister have appointed Dickinson Mining Equipment & Services – the group’s mining services division – to be its Southern Africa distributor.
Dickinson Mining sales manager Wilhelm Visser says the company has already delivered a Putzmeister SPM 4210 Wetkret concrete spray unit and a Mixkret 4 low-profile concrete mixer to a mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for a major African mining contractor.
He adds that the contractor is looking to order products from Resemin and says the Dickinson Group is currently negotiating the terms and conditions of this contract.
Dickinson Mining has also delivered a second SPM 4210 unit to a smaller mining contractor located on the DRC’s the copper belt.
Visser says other companies have also shown interest, including a leading independent diamond-mining group in South Africa, which is interested in sending technicians to Peru for training in the application of Resemin products, including assembly, operation and product maintenance.
The Dickinson Group was initially approached by Resemin and Putzmeister last year, after the company had successfully launched its mining services with the Sweden-based Brokk range – high-powered remote-controlled machines that enable the operator to move freely and work at a distance to ensure safety and efficiency.
“The launch of our mining division has, therefore, been a success,” says CEO Trevor Dickinson. “When we launched that service into the mining sector and were approached by Resemin and Putzmeister, we felt that their product offering would be complementary to our mining division, as we would then able to provide a specialist mining service and link up with two reputable companies.”
Dickinson tells Mining Weekly that the Dickinson Group was introduced to Putzmeister through Resemin, as the companies, both of which were seeking a product distributor in South Africa, manufacture products that complement one another.
He adds that, when the company was conducting market research on Resemin’s product offering, it recognised that competing products were too complex and sophisticated for mining employees lacking the skills to operate them.
Resemin MD James Valenzuela Murillo tells Mining Weekly that his company focuses on producing simple, strong and uncomplicated machinery to better facilitate the training of non-skilled operators.
Resemin’s rigs are ready to operate in the excessively humid, hot and corrosive environment of underground mining, says Murillo, adding that Resemin offers some of the best delivery times in the mining industry.
Meanwhile, Putzmeister, which has been pumping concrete worldwide for more than 16 years, manufactures all its own components in-house, therefore, integrating its own range of products into its concrete-spraying technology.
What attracted the Dickinson Group to the Putzmeister range is its suitability to mechanised mining, as Putzmeister’s equipment provides more productive applications for underground mining, says Dickinson, who believes that, in South Africa, there is scope in mining activity for increased mechanisation.