Mass accommodation product supplier Ascot Site Solutions will provide preventive maintenance on current and future equipment at a project on a remote copper mine site, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“The project began in January and is scheduled for completion within one year,” says Ascot Site Solutions MD Rhett Bellamy, who tells Mining Weekly that the project also has an extension clause.
According to Bellamy, African mines have an obligation to provide their employees with decent accommodation and resources – this includes suitable catering and laundry facilities. Ascot Site Solutions has, therefore, been contracted to provide systematic inspection, detection and correction, and prevent incipient failures of catering and laundry equipment before any major failures occur. Since the mine is remote, functional laundry and catering facilities are required to make the lives of workers more comfortable, he stresses.
The company will implement plans for preventive maintenance on site, ensuring that there is access to resources, such as spare parts for kitchen and laundry facilities, should the need arise. The maintenance work further increases the safety and performance of the catering and laundry equipment, as it will not break down mid-use, thereby decreasing the need for constant and costly maintenance.
Ascot’s solutions will prolong the life of the equipment, reduce high-risk injury and limit day-to-day errors while keeping the machines running efficiently and productively, says Bellamy.
“Having good food and clean clothes is vital to a happy living and working environment. With our project, we aim to ensure that these functions run smoothly and with as few disruptions as possible,” he says.
Ascot uses the best local and international product ranges to ensure that the company can provide all the required kitchen and laundry services tailored for clients, he adds. The company, therefore, creates functional working and living environments for feeding and clothing mine-site employees, Bellamy stresses.
Ascot arranges trips to the DRC site every two months to conduct progress audits to ensure that implementation plans are being sustained. “We work with equipment at various stages of use, from two months to ten years, and from various suppliers. The successful completion of the project is to bring the equipment up to a certain standard and to maintain it,” adds Bellamy.
Nevertheless, starting and running a successful project in remote areas comes with its challenges: it takes 14 days for a truck to travel from Johannesburg, Gauteng, to the site in the DRC.
“Further, the electricity supply is not consistent and the quality of water is not great. This puts a greater toll on the equipment. As the site has been supplied by various suppliers over the years, there are many different types of equipment that makes sourcing the spares more difficult, but not impossible,” Bellamy explains.
He believes that Ascot’s 43 years of experience provides the company with the upper hand in handling crises, managing each challenge and providing the best solution for its clients.