Construction is under way on a new grinding media plant that promises to significantly increase South African steel products manufacturer Scaw Metals’ grinding media capacity on the African continent, the company tells Mining Weekly.
The media plant, which is being constructed in Tema, Ghana, is valued at more than $40-million, and is being manufactured in partnership with South African investment company Guma Group, as well as Ghanaian investment company Jospong Group.
Scaw Metals says that the plant, which will boast a yearly capacity of 50 000 t, should become operational within 18 months and will offer significant job opportunities to local community members.
Scaw Metals is the largest producer of cast high-chrome grinding media in the southern hemisphere and is the primary producer and supplier of high chrome and forged grinding balls for Africa’s platinum, copper and gold mining industries.
“We are delighted to be opening a plant in Ghana as this is an outbound investment for a South African entity. Further, the Ghanaian government has made a significant push for the local manufacturing industry to stimulate economic growth and job creation,” says Scaw Metals CE Markus Hannemann.
Scaw Metals in Ghana
Scaw Metals has been present in Ghana since 2011, when the company’s Ghanaian operation was registered as a regional sales office to service the West African region. With offices in Tema, Scaw Ghana functions as a local contact base for all of the products manufactured by the company’s South Africa branch that may be in demand in West Africa.
“From our experience in Ghana to date, we are certain that we will be able to take advantage of the region’s vast potential. The skills development we will be providing for the employees of the plant will ensure that it will have a significant knock-on effect in the local community,” says Hannemann.
The consortium, including Guma Group and Jospong Group, which holds 30% of the entity, will be given first preference to supply products and services during construction of the plant and thereafter. “We are looking forward to the partnership with Scaw Metals, as supplying the region will grow our business further. We will also look for other steel beneficiation opportunities in Ghana,” says Jospong Group chairperson Joseph Siaw Agyepong.
Meanwhile, Guma Group says that its investment in the plant showcases the value that public–private partnerships can bring to infrastructure development in Africa. “This plant serves as a catalyst for the enhancement of business-to-business relationships, which is much needed for job creation and trade in the region,” says Guma Group chairperson Robert Gumede.
The consortium will bring additional investment to Ghana by increasing the country’s steel product manufacturing capabilities, which leads to the production of other steel-related products, including rolled products, long-steel products, reinforcing bars, low-and high-carbon wired rods, and reinforcing coil.
Scaw Metals, which considers itself a leading producer of forged grinding media in Africa, says that demand for forged grinding media comes predominantly from the gold and copper industries on the continent.
Scaw Metals is also a South Africa-based integrated steelmaker that produces specialised and critical consumable components for the mining, rail, power, offshore oil and gas, and construction industries, among other industrial sectors. The business operates through four product-focused business units with facilities in South Africa.
Guma Group is a 100% black-owned, entrepreneurial diversified group with interests in energy, power generation, information and communication technology, infrastructure development, tourism, property, real estate and shopping centre development, the water and sanitation industry and the mining industry.
Guma Group currently employs more than 12 000 staff members globally and owns the largest integrated tourism company in Africa, Tourvest, which has offices globally and is involved in retail, African craft, jewellery, restaurants, hotels, duty-free shops and American Express foreign exchange.
Tourvest boasts clients such as airlines like South African Airways, Virgin Airlines, British Airways, Singapore Airlines and Kenya Airways.
Established in 1995, Jospong Group points out that it has grown into an “African powerhouse” with 32 subsidiaries locally and eight companies in other parts of Africa and the Middle East. These companies were established in response to the growing demand for high-quality products and services in the different sectors of Ghana's economy.
Jospong Group currently operates in 11 industries, namely building and construction, printing and publishing, information and communication technology, waste management, mining and quarrying, oil and gas, automotive, plant and equipment, skills development, financial services, public health and safety, and the logistics and supply chain industries.