Multotec focusing on improving African mining conditions, communities

Exclusive feature, as published in Engineering News and Mining Weekly

While there have been numerous concerns relating to global macroeconomic issues – such as the fallout of the Russia/Ukraine war, and the tail-end impact of Covid – the mining industry has been relatively buoyant over this period, says South Africa-based minerals processing equipment specialist Multotec Group CEO Thomas Holtz.

Evidenced by the company seeing some strong revenue growth, Multotec has largely benefitted from the supply chain issues that most multinationals have had to deal with when importing inputs from around the world.

However, the significant price increase in some of the company’s material purchases has put its margins under pressure. Holtz specifically mentions the additional cost of diesel to keep the company’s factories operational and running with power, or even the unpredictability of some macroeconomic factors.

Despite this, Multotec ended 2022 in a strong position and with a healthy order book.

The company’s main purpose is to do a “climate check” on the African mining market throughout 2023.

“As a South Africa-based business, we see the African market as part of our home base, and to hear from mining ministers from different countries and from different mining company heads what their plans are, helps us to align our plans for the continent,” Holtz comments, referencing this year’s Mining Indaba conference and exhibition.

He adds that Multotec has “invested heavily” into its branch infrastructure and that it currently has a direct presence in Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana and Ghana, as well as indirect exposure through partners in the rest of East and West Africa.

“My wish for Africa is to see inclusive economic growth and the high levels of poverty and inequality eradicated over time. As a business, we see ourselves taking a proactive approach to engaging in the communities that we operate in,” Holtz says.

In this regard, Multotec employs and trains people from the local communities, while also aiming to source or develop local subcontractors.

“We also need to respect local requirements and whether these contractors are legislated, or even sometimes driven by the local chief. Regardless, we stay engaged and believe we can make a difference in these communities.”

As an Africa-based manufacturer, Multotec has a good understanding of the environment its clients work in, and what their needs are from a product design, pricing and service perspective.

Multotec is primarily a mineral processing equipment supplier for most mineral applications, including precious or industrial metals such as cobalt, copper and coal. The company is also involved in after-sales service activities.

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