Orica secures BEE partner, set to expand African footprint

7th April 2014 By: Natasha Odendaal - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Orica secures BEE partner, set to expand African footprint

Leven Moodley and Dallas Wilkinson

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – ASX-listed global commercial explosives and mining and tunnelling ground support provider Orica and South Africa-headquartered investment group Reindus Holdings have partnered to further Orica Mining Services South Africa’s (OMSSA's) African expansion ambitions.

The venture, in which Reindus acquired a 25% stake for an undisclosed amount, would be a “major enabler” for the group to expand its ground support throughout Africa, as well as position itself for growth in advanced explosives initiating systems in South Africa, OMSSA product development leader Donald O’Connor said at a media briefing in Newtown on Monday.

The 14 500-employee strong Australia-based Orica had been operating in Africa since 2005, with operations spanning 15 countries, including Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Senegal.

The group currently generated 80% of its revenue from mining-related industries – 12% of which was sourced from the Europe, Middle East and Africa region, added explosives, mining chemicals and ground support innovation and development GM and acting Africa GM Dallas Wilkinson.

While he was unable to disclose the company’s Africa-specific growth ambitions or potential investments over the next year, as the group was in a closed period, Wilkinson believed the partnership would create a “formidable model” to leverage growth across a rapidly rising continent.

The acquisition by Reindus, chaired by Leven Moodley, allowed OMSSA to be recognised as a black economically-empowered group compliant with the South African Mining Charter.

The partnership with Johannesburg-based OMSSA highlighted the group’s commitment to Africa’s mining industry and opened a platform to develop and apply new technology on the continent and provide Africa-specific solutions.

Moodley added that existing and new customers would be exposed to the best available blasting and ground support solutions.

Orica’s investments and focus targets included emulsion and ammonium nitrate/fuel oil manufacturing plants, initiating systems facilities, ground support manufacturing plants, multipoint regional and global sourcing, mobile manufacturing and charging units, besides others, Wilkinson concluded.