Mining industry consumables demand remains stable

27th February 2015

By: Jonathan Rodin


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Despite the current volatile state of the South African mining industry, the demand for consumables remains positive, as not many mines have closed down, says local screening and vibrating-equipment solutions supplier Aury Africa MD Mark Houchin.

“As long as a mine is running, it will need consumables,” he states.

Houchin notes that Aury Africa, which develops and manufactures intertank screens typically used in gold mining, has been able to remain competitive, owing to its affordable pricing and consistent quality. He adds that the company is planning to expand its South African gold industry market share.

Houchin also attributes the company’s 20% growth rate last year to its proactive approach to doing business in challenging market conditions.

“A major contributor to this success was the establishment of our new 5 000 m2 manufacturing facility, in Johannesburg.”

Houchin indicates that the company also invested R1-million in two new looms, which enabled Aury Africa to manufacture locally, while dramatically improving turnaround times and reducing costs.

“By streamlining operational efficiency, we have maintained the trust of existing clients while also attracting new clients. This was clearly evident in our continued growth throughout 2014,” he continues.

Aury Africa has set similar growth targets for 2015, despite volatility in the local market.

“The global market is struggling, owing to severe constraints on commodity prices, and this is certainly reflected on a local level. Therefore, our value-added and personalised service offering, together with quality products, will play a key role in sustaining our growth targets for the foreseeable future,” says Houchin, adding that there is always room for improvement.

“Capital equipment sales accounted for only about 10% of our turnover last year, with consumables comprising the balance. We would ideally like to narrow this to a 50:50 split to ensure long-term profitability and prosperity for Aury Africa,” he explains.

Further, Houchin highlights that, to date, Aury Africa has supplied its products to mines in South Africa and Ghana.

“With 5% to 10% of the local market, we definitely have room and see the opportunity for growth,” notes Houchin, adding that Aury Africa also aims to supply other parts of Africa in future.

The company plans to penetrate the lucrative gold market with its range of intertank screens. “Our stainless steel wedge wire intertank screens are self-supporting structures that boast a high open area to recover gold. A single large client could increase turnover by about R2-million a year, so this remains a top priority.”

Aury Africa currently imports the vast majority of its screening and vibrating equipment from its China-based sister company, Aury Tianjin. Houchin points out that the long-term objective is, however, for the company to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on China.

“It makes logistical and economic sense to invest capital in new manufacturing equipment, rather than carrying excessive stock. Part of this transition will be to cast our own polyurethane for screens and panels in 2015, thereby increasing our competitiveness. This, in turn, will sustain our growth to the point where we can manufacture the bulk of our range in the medium term,” he concludes.

Edited by Leandi Kolver
Creamer Media Deputy Editor



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