Miner supports SMME with diamond drilling equipment

25th March 2022

Diversified miner Glencore Ferroalloys’ Eastern Chrome Mines (ECM) announced last month that it remains committed to developing and supporting local small, medium-sized and microenterprises (SMMEs) to contribute to local economies.

The mining company recently handed over two underground diamond drilling machines, an additional engine, as well as 400 drill rods worth almost R1-million to local black-owned SMME maintenance project company Bonico Maintenance Projects.

The handover was held at Glencore’s supplier park in Steelpoort, in the Limpopo province, and was attended by Glencore Ferroalloys representatives including ECM GM Lloyd Murenzvi, chief geologist Lindiwe Nkambule and acting mineral resource manager Obed Tsetsewa.

Glencore’s ongoing relationship with Bonico Maintenance Projects started several years ago when the company was subcontracted to the mine’s main contractor. Following its growth and determination, ECM soon gave the company an opportunity to branch out and offer underground exploration drilling services. Since then, the company has grown in leaps and bounds leading to Glencore giving it extra support to ensure even greater success.

Glencore Ferroalloys chief community and social responsibility officer Conroy van der Westhuizen congratulated Bonico Maintenance Projects on its new equipment and added that it was a direct result of its consistent hard work.

“One of our core values is to identify entrepreneurialism; it is, however, equally important when a recipient not only identifies it in themselves but embraces it as well. We have been monitoring Bonico Maintenance Projects for some time now and [its] tenacity has been one of the qualities that has made [it] stand out, as well as [its] ability to inspire other young people in this community,” he said.

The support given by Glencore is in line with its commitment to empower SMMEs within its operations so as to create more job opportunities, especially for unemployed youth. This support enables Bonico Maintenance Projects to provide employment to 12 members of the community thereby continuing the positive ripple effects of progress.

“Our aim is to ensure that we support recipients and uplift communities to the best of our abilities. The main purpose for the Supplier Development Initiative is to equip SMMEs with the necessary tools they need to thrive. We are so glad to be here today to hand over this equipment to this well-deserving business. We have witnessed their dedication and have been inspired by their commitment to continual growth,” stated Glencore Ferroalloys enterprise and supplier development superintendent Charlin Ntuli.

Bonico Maintenance Projects was also awarded a drilling contract to ensure that it continues to thrive. The business is also part of a group of SMMEs that have access to business development training at the Glencore Business Incubation Hub.

“It has been an honour from the beginning to observe Bonico Maintenance Projects proactively raise [its] hand to showcase that [it is] capable of producing safe, quality work,” Murenzvi said.

Bonico Maintenance Projects founder and director Nico Tshehla enthusiastically thanked Glencore for the support, adding that the equipment would make a lasting difference in the company’s growth.

Glencore remains committed to bringing positive change to more SMMEs throughout the year by supporting and guiding them to grow their businesses. Glencore prides itself in ensuring that its host communities ‘Progress Together’ with them by targeting black-owned businesses that will, in turn, uplift fellow community members.