AEL entrenching itself in Latin American market

24th October 2014 By: Zandile Mavuso - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Features

Explosives company AEL Mining Services says its supply of electronic detonators to the Latin American countries has been successful in the past four years, with the company’s focus currently on maintaining its presence in the area by advancing technologically.

“The market in this region differs a lot from the South African mining industry and, given the challenges this presents, we are very pleased with the progress we have made in the past four years,” says AEL Mining Services divisional director Des Decina.

He adds that whenever business ventures into a new environment, it is important to become familiar with the culture of that environment, which includes sufficient knowledge of the labour laws, legislation regarding the mining industry and communities’ way of life.

In commenting on the mining environment in the Latin American countries of Chile, Peru, Brazil and Argentina, Decina adds that what has been key to AEL Mining Services’ proven success in the region is the involvement of locals.

“Getting acceptance from the locals is always an advantage, as getting them involved through employing them gains their trust and, in turn, they trust the product that you are supplying to the country,” Decina points out.

Apart from gaining the trust of locals, he notes that the approval process regarding products can present a challenge, as Latin America has stringent regulations regarding product quality.

Having to export the electronic detonators from South Africa to Latin America, the company has had to ensure that the products meet the requirements of the mining sectors in these countries to avoid the products being rejected by the relevant authorities.

“So far, AEL Mining Services has been able to rise to the occasion in this regard as it has always produced the required standard of electronic detonators, which the officials have been pleased with,” Decina mentions.

He notes that the company’s significant investment in its research and development (R&D) department has been one of the reasons for its success in the region.

AEL Mining Services ensures that its R&D department has the best internationally represented scientists and researchers who study the different markets to ensure that the company remains at the forefront of the industry, thereby enabling it to stay abreast of new technological advancements that might emerge in the industry.

“This, among many other aspects, drives us to being leaders in the industry. The more development there is from our R&D department, the better we become in maintaining the standard we have set in Latin America,” Decina explains.