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BusinessExcellence Weekly

ISSUE No. 57 | www.bus-ex.com

Cisco Malta:

Tomorrow starts here The name Cisco has been associated with innovation since its foundation ima engineering:

bia overseas:

panama canal:

Included The BE Mining Directory showcases leading mining organisations from across the world, ranging from big corporations to junior mines and their supply chains. Be seen throughout our portfolio of magazines: • BE Mining Directory • BE Mining • BE Weekly • BE Monthly •

Go to page 70 to see this week’s listing To find out how to get involved contact: vincent@bus-ex.com

business excellence

Business John O’Hanlon Editor johanlon@bus-ex.com Will Daynes Editor wdaynes@bus-ex.com Matt Johnson Art Director mjohnson@bus-ex.com Louise Culling Production Designer lculling@bus-ex.com Richard Turner Director of Sales rturner@bus-ex.com

Business Excellence brings you content from leading business influencers and strategic thinkers providing inspiration and guidance to help you and your business grow. We showcase some of the best examples of successful organisations from around the world giving you a unique insight into how they operate.

Vince Kielty Director of Editorial Research vkielty@bus-ex.com Sharon Rooke Administration & Operations srooke@bus-ex.com Matt Day Head of Technology mday@bus-ex.com Andy Turner Chief Executive aturner@bus-ex.com

Contributors HINT: For the best experience, click the fullscreen icon

George F. Brown, Jr. Consultant & Author Kevin J. Duggan Founder of the Institute for Operational Excellence & Duggan Associates

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Jacquard House, Queen Street, Norwich, NR2 4SX. England

Infinity Business Media Ltd

The content of this magazine is copyright of Infinity Business Media Ltd. Redistribution or reproduction of any content is prohibited. Š Copyright 2013 Infinity Business Media Ltd.

BE Weekly


issue No.57

6 6 strategy

Does Your Firm Have One Hand Tied Behind its Back?

Partnership with third-party suppliers works best when they are really brought into the team.

12 operations

Operational Excellence in Human Resources

Employees are invariably a company’s greatest asset, but what can you do to ensure your HR process creates the best results? .


20 Cisco Malta

Tomorrow starts here

The name Cisco has been associated with innovation since its foundation in 1984: its Malta operations are an epitome of its global significance as the industry enters its next evolutionary phase.

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32 Panama Canal Expansion Program A global game changer

The expansion of the Panama Canal is the highest profile undertaking in all of Central America and one that is on course to change the world of maritime trade forever.

42 BIA Overseas

Architects of African growth


Marketing Manager, Cedric Leturcq talks about BIA Overseas’ operations in Africa and its contribution to the development of the continent.

50 IMA engineering

Cutting edge technology

IMA’s products and services can make the difference between profitability and loss for an operation seeking to improve information used by management – and imparted to investors.


62 continental coal African energy for Asia


Continental Coal is a company whose second name could be ‘expansion’: with three operating mines and another in development this year, growth is a key part of its policy.

BE Directory 70 Amalgamated Dress

MANUFACTURING WORKWEAR & PPE FOR SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Our vision is to be the preferred partner of choice for protective wear and PPE.

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Does your firm tied behind

Partnership with third-p when they are really b Words by

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m have one hand d its back?

party suppliers works best brought into the team

e F. Brown, Jr.

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everal years ago, a company that produced capital equipment initiated a firm-wide project designed to gain an advantage against competitors in a market that cared about both product quality and cost. The firm’s leadership put pressure on basically every department in the organization to come up with new ideas that could translate into marketplace success. Their efforts yielded some results, but the outcome fell far short of what had been hoped when the project had been started. What this firm failed to realize was that it had one hand tied behind its back. Third-party suppliers contributed on average just over 60% of the value of the firm’s products as they left the

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warehouse. Years of aggressive supply chain management had ensured that the firm was paying rock-bottom prices for the ingredients purchased from those suppliers. While such supply chain contributions are important and valuable, goals such as those established by this firm require much more than low prices in the way of contributions from suppliers. Today, many firms are in the same situation as the one described above, with a high share of their value added linked to ingredients purchased from suppliers. Executives must realize that suppliers can contribute far more than just lower prices and security of supply. Suppliers must bring innovations to the table. They must identify strategies that improve


manufacturing and other processes. They must deliver ingredients and equipment that yield energy efficiency and environmental gains, and that address new regulatory challenges. In some instances, they must even contribute by easing the challenges of entering new global markets. And those examples are just a few drawn from the roster of contributions that I have observed strong suppliers making to their customers. Almost every company that I have interviewed over the years can cite a “supplier success story�, describing an instance in which a supplier truly made a contribution. But a far smaller fraction of those companies can cite what they are doing to motivate future supplier success

stories. They are, unfortunately, like the firm described above, operating with one hand tied behind their back. They are failing to establish their position as a preferred customer, one that attracts best-in-class suppliers and motivates their strongest contributions. Releasing the hand tied behind your back is not an easy process, particularly for firms that have managed their relationships with suppliers so as to promote competition with a singular focus on gaining price concessions. To tap the contributions that suppliers can make in other areas requires new approaches to key relationships and often a trustbuilding period to overcome suspicions. The mindset of being a best-in-class

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“I don’t do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect half-hearted results.” customer must become the foundation of the relationship with suppliers that are viewed as being in a position to make a strategic contribution. Not all suppliers are in that position, and a first step in the process involves identifying those suppliers that have the potential to make meaningful contributions. That potential depends on what they supply and also on the extent to which they have insights that can become critical to future growth and profitability. In my experience, the roster of such strategic suppliers is typically short. Two key tests that can help to identify strategic suppliers involve assessing how important their ingredient is in the eyes of your firm’s end customers and quantifying how many of your firm’s own

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processes and costs are linked in one way or another to the supplier’s product. For those suppliers that have the potential to make a strategic contribution, a different approach to managing the relationship is required. Many firms serving business markets have long ago implemented a strategic accounts team, with a dedicated account team focused on important customer relationships and a distinct cadence and focus to those large, highly important customer relationships. The same philosophy applies to strategic supplier relationships. As one example of the difference in how strategic supplier relationships are managed, a best-in-class customer will actively involve strategic suppliers in end customer relationships. The supplier’s ability to deliver value along many of the dimensions cited earlier depends on their understanding of what matters to the end customers. Many times, suppliers that have been involved in end customer relationship see analogies to challenges they’ve faced – and overcome – in support of other customers in other business environments. Ensuring that suppliers are aware of your firm’s end customer challenges is prerequisite to their ability to help you solve them. As a second example, in strategic supplier relationships, a “systems perspective” is required, with both firms being open to changes in the


roles and boundaries between them and looking at how each of their decisions and processes impact on those of the partner firm. It’s a simple principle of optimization that when you focus on the whole system instead of its components in isolation, you have more options for improvement. This applies when suppliers and customers are confronting problems. Sometimes the solution requires a new way of doing things, shifting responsibilities from one firm to the other or making changes in processes in one firm that open the route to savings in the other. The gains from such collaborative efforts at problem solving can be substantial, and create a value pool that can be shared between the two companies. Finally, three themes occur repeatedly in discussions with suppliers about their best customers. The first of these involves the information flow and the communications between the two firms. Suppliers say that their best customers tell them what they need to know in order to be successful. The second observation is that suppliers feel their best customers accept them as part of the team, as opposed to keeping them at arm’s length. Such inclusion motivates suppliers to come to those customers with new ideas, even ones that are still “works

in process”. The third theme is that there is an openness to the relationship, with quite a few people involved across the various departments and functions in the two organizations. As a result of those multiple touch points, the people that have the potential to spot an opportunity already know one another and are easily able to connect with one another. Today’s business environment will continue to challenge most businesses and require them to undertake initiatives like the one described at the beginning of this article. The firms that are able to bring all of the resources available to bear on these challenges – including the resources that can be provided by strategic suppliers – will be those that prosper and reward their shareholders. Basketball superstar Michael Jordan once said “I don’t do things half-heartedly. Because I know if I do, then I can expect halfhearted results.” Supplier insights and contributions are among the resources that must be tapped in order to avoid half-hearted results and one hand tied behind your back responses to business challenges. Identify those suppliers that can be a part of your firm’s success stories and implement the best customer practices that will enable them to do so. The payoff will be enormous.

About the author George F. Brown, Jr. consults with industrial firms on growth strategy. He is the coauthor of CoDestiny: Overcome Your Growth Challenges by Helping Your Customers Overcome Theirs and the cofounder of Blue Canyon Partners, Inc. George has published frequently on topics relating to strategy in business markets, including articles in Industry Week, Industrial Distribution, Chief Executive, Business Excellence, Employment Relations Today, iP Frontline, Industrial Engineer, Industry Today, and many others.

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Operational excel Human Res

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Kevin J. Duggan


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perational Excellence is not a continuous improvement initiative, nor a lean program where we seek out waste and eliminate it. It is very tangible and real, and has practical definition that applies to everyone in the organization: Operational Excellence is when, “Every employee can see the flow of value to the customer, and fix that flow before it breaks down.” But Operational Excellence is not easy to achieve. It requires a designed, robust flow and a good deal of education on how that flow works, what normal flow is, and what abnormal flow is. In manufacturing, the application of Operational Excellence is easy to understand. We design how a product flows through the factory and then create strong visual indicators to tell each employee how the flow between processes works, where to get their work from, where to send their work, and most importantly, what to work on next. These visuals also communicate whether the flow is normal or abnormal. When the flow begins to become abnormal, the employees working in the flow take corrective steps to fix the problem before the flow breaks down. This makes the entire flow “self-healing”, meaning the flow can be fixed by the employees themselves, without the need for

“Every employee can see the flow of value to the customer, and fix that flow before it breaks down.” 14 |

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management intervention. But a typical office environment is different. Office employees are normally “shared resources”, meaning they must fulfill many different roles and responsibilities throughout the day. Unlike manufacturing, it is also unusual for office employees to repeat the same task over and over again. In Human Resources (HR), for example, HR professionals spend time on benefit packages, resolving employee disputes, hiring new employees, and much more. But Operational Excellence can still be achieved. Guaranteed response time: The key for hiring new employees For organizations that need to hire new employees to continue to grow and capture new opportunities in the marketplace, the charge largely rests with HR departments. And HR teams know that turnaround time to applicants is critical. However, due to the number of people and steps involved in the hiring process, response times to candidates can suffer, and the company can risk losing quality candidates. That’s because the need for hiring first has to be approved by other managers in the business and then reviewed by HR, which places an advertisement. Résumés come in, which HR filters then presents to the relevant managers for review. Eventually, candidates are contacted and arrive for their first round of interviews. But in most organizations, there is no defined lead time, or “response time”, from the time the hiring need is approved until


candidates walk in the door. Instead, it all depends on the individuals involved and how they decide what to work on. In fact, workflow in the office often varies so greatly, a meeting is required to get things prioritized and on track. Operational Excellence enables a better way. By achieving Operational Excellence in the office, HR professionals can create short, robust guaranteed turnaround times (GTTs) by flowing work through part-time processing cells along direct, physical pathways. The result is that HR employees will always know if they are on time, enhancing their ability to recruit top job candidates from the field of applicants. How to achieve operational excellence in HR The first step in creating Operational Excellence in HR is to create a process family matrix, in which we identify all the different activities for which HR is responsible for completing and attempt to leverage similarities among them to create flow. We typically aim for an 80 percent similarity in process content to form what’s known as a process family, and we create one flow in the office per process family. Suppose that after examining all the activities in HR, we determine that we can create a process family for hiring new employees that consists of the following activities (while there are many more activities involved in hiring a new employee than just the ones listed here, all of these steps must be completed along the way as new talent is sought):

“Operational Excellence is achieved by applying a specific set of guidelines geared toward designing flow in the office” 1. Request for new hire. 2. HR review. 3. Place advertisement. 4. Seek out internal company resources for compensation review. 5. Receive and filter résumés. 6. Contact interested candidates. 7. Schedule interviews. 8. Conduct interviews. 9.  Schedule and conduct additional rounds of interviews as need. 10. Offer a candidate a position. Once we have identified all the activities that must be completed to hire a new employee, the typical continuous improvement inclination at this point would be to identify the biggest problem we face, brainstorm ways to fix it, implement a decision, and then measure and monitor the results. When something else goes wrong or needs improvement, we repeat this process again, eliminating the biggest source of pain to our business at the moment. However, this approach only leads to the optimization of certain areas of the flow at the expense of the flow overall, virtually guaranteeing that the customer (who, in this case, is the job candidate) does not experience any benefit. However, Operational Excellence is

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not achieved through brainstorming. It is achieved by applying a specific set of guidelines geared toward designing flow in the office: 1. Takt or takt capability 2. Continuous flow 3. First In, First Out (FIFO) 4. Workflow cycles 5. Integration events 6. Standard work 7. Single-point sequence initialization 8. Pitch 9. Changes in demand We need to apply these design guidelines to our flow in the order seen above. For example, we would determine the takt or takt capability of the flow first, then see where we can do continuous flow (or more likely part-time continuous flow, since office employees are shared resources), then see where we can implement FIFO lanes and create workflow cycles, and so on. The successful application of these guidelines ends up creating a robust guaranteed turnaround time for each process in the flow and even the entirety of the flow. That enables us to tell job candidates, with certainty, that we will contact them within a certain number of days, ensuring timely responses to them. Not only does the guaranteed turnaround time give us a greater chance of recruiting

“The successful application of these guidelines ends up creating a robust guaranteed turnaround time for each process in the flow and even the entirety of the flow� 16 |

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Figure 1.1 Compensation Review

Rec. & Filter Résumés



top talent, it eliminates the need to only go through the hiring process more than once to find someone qualified for the job. Operational excellence in HR: A practical example Because of the complexity of real-life HR environments, demonstrating how an entire end-to-end flow would work with workflow cycles, part-time continuous flow cells, and single-point sequence initialization would be a significant undertaking. To keep things simpler, we’ll instead look at how these concepts might apply to a section of the new-hire process family, specifically, the following activities numbered four through six above that take place during the hiring process: 4. Seek out internal company resources for compensation review. 5. Receive and filter résumés. 6. Contact interested candidates. If we were to draw this section of the flow in something called a value stream map, it would look similar to what we find in Figure 1.1. In Figure 1.1, the “I” found within the

Contact Candidates


triangles represents inventory present in the form of files or requests. The “D” represents delays, specifically those that are externally caused. If there were any that were internally caused, we would represent those with a “W.” The crosshatch symbol indicates that each of these processes are shared resources, meaning they are responsible for completing many different activities on any given day. It should be noted again that Figure 1.1 represents only one small piece of the overall flow. There would be additional processes before and after this segment that we would also have to handle, but for now, let’s look at what we might do with this part of the flow. At this point in the flow, we can see that HR needs to seek out internal company resources to begin assembling the details of various compensation packages. For example, finance might need to determine the range of salaries to be offered, while accounting might be needed to examine the cash flow impact these different salaries would have on the business. As we can see from Figure 1.1, the main problem with the flow is that there is no way to guarantee how long

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Figure 1.2 Compensation Review

Rec. & Filter Résumés

Tue & Fri from 10-12

Mon & Wed from 1-3





from 2-3:30 Contact Candidates




Pro Mgmt



GTT = 4 Days

it will take for the work to move from process to process. In short, there is no guaranteed turnaround time for the flow (or guaranteed response time), and this leads to internal disruptions in the organization that increase the likelihood of rework being needed and also the amount of time it takes to hire someone. By applying our office design guidelines to achieve Operational Excellence, we can eliminate these issues. One of the ways we can synchronize the timing of the flow between all of these processes is by creating part-time continuous flow cells. Based on the takt or takt capability of

“Applying our design guidelines to the office creates an environment where every employee can tell if the office is on time” 18 |

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the flow, employees would come together during workflow cycles in pre-determined locations to flow work in a “complete one, move one” fashion. Each employee would know what to work on next simply by working on whatever came to him or her in the flow. In other words, they would work on whatever the person before them in the flow gave to them. (See Figure 1.2) In Figure 1.2, the first two processes in the flow are part-time continuous flow cell. Employees get together at preset days and times to flow work (the specific timing is seen directly above each process and is governed by the established workflow cycle). At the first workflow cycle, representatives from HR, Finance, and Accounting would come together to review various compensation packages. Work would then flow in a First In, First Out (or FIFO) lane from the first part-time continuous flow processing cell to the next one, were résumés are received and filtered. The FIFO lane ensures that the sequence


of work is preserved from process to process, which helps create the guaranteed turnaround time for our flow since no individual piece of work will ever “jump” another. The segment of the flow shown in figure 1.2 has a guaranteed turnaround time of four days, meaning everyone in the organization can expect the work to have flowed through these three processes within four days, eliminating the need for meetings, status check-ups, and additional interruptions in the flow. At the “Receive and Filter Résumés” process, a workflow cycle brings together employees from HR, Design, Engineering, and Project Management, all of which are needed to vet candidate résumés. During the workflow cycle at this process, résumés would be evaluated by representatives from the different departments present. Selected résumés would then flow via FIFO lanes to the “Contact Candidates” process, where they would be used to get in touch with interested and qualified job candidates. Preserving the sequence of work, flowing it between processes in FIFO lanes, and using workflow cycles to flow work at preset times on preset days guarantees that each piece of the flow will have completed its work by a pre-determine time. This guaranteed turnaround time would even exist for

each individual process in the flow because the sequence of work does not change and we know how long it takes to complete the work at each process. In addition to the guidelines highlighted here, we also need to make sure we apply the rest of our guidelines, too, like standard work, pitch, integration events (if applicable), and systems to deal with changes in demand. Going forward, we would want to extrapolate the methodology described here to every other process in the flow, connecting each one with FIFO lanes, creating workflow cycles to regulate the flow of work, and even creating part-time continuous flow cells where applicable. Reduced time yields results Applying our design guidelines to the office creates an environment where every employee can tell if the office is on time. It creates an environment where, “Each and every employee can see the flow of value to the customer, and fix that flow before it breaks down.” By striving for and achieving Operational Excellence in the office, HR departments can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to hire new employees, ensuring that their ability to recruit top talent in a minimal amount of time – and support the growth of the business well into the future.

About the author Kevin J. Duggan is the Founder of the Institute for Operational Excellence and Duggan Associates, an international training and advisory firm. He is the author of three books on the subject of applying advanced lean techniques to achieve Operational Excellence: “Design for Operational Excellence: A Breakthrough Strategy for Business Growth;” “Creating Mixed Model Value Streams;” and “The Office That Grows Your Business – Achieving Operational Excellence in Your Business Processes.”

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Tomorrow starts here Malta’s Cisco operations are an epitome of its global significance as the industry enters its next evolutionary phase

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: David Brogan 20 | be weekly

Cisco Malta

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eing the world’s most successful networking company Cisco’s ubiquity is a given and it has been ‘present’ in Malta as throughout Europe and the Mediterranean area for decades through its channel partners. However its physical presence only dates from 2008, when an office was set up under its current manager Ruben Azzopardi, a man with a deep understanding of Cisco’s products and capabilities as a senior executive at one of its principal local customers. In 2011 the company was the first to move into SmartCity, a joint venture between SmartCity Dubai and the government of Malta designed to make the island a hub for ICT in the region. That was natural enough. Located on 360,000 square metres of land in the Ricasoli area close to the capital Valetta, SmartCity Malta is destined to become a flagship development: it is a state of the art ICT township, with all the buildings knit together and managed by systems based on Cisco’s infrastructure. “We believe this is an important and strategic project for the country,” says Azzopardi. “It is going to provide a focus to develop the ICT knowledge industries generally. We felt we should be part of it!” It will help transform the country, he believes. Cisco’s presence in Malta is helping it to develop projects that will contribute to the improvement of ICT and its application in the country, Azzopardi explains. Operationally Malta falls within Cisco’s South Region comprising Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Israel, France, Italy Portugal and Spain. Malta is clearly the smallest of these economies, but

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Cisco Malta

$14.5 trillion Cisco’s estimate of ICT market by 2020

Nikos Botinis

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it is a country that punches above its weight in the EC and in terms of ICT it experiences no disadvantages. “We have found that having the office here allows us to be closer to our customers and to develop the sector in a more successful and satisfactory manner. We can pull in resources from different locations according to what we need here in this country.” In that he has the support of Cisco’s Regional Sales Manager Nikos Botinis, based in Athens. “Malta is strategically a key territory that helps us to be part of the mature markets of Europe and also the developing markets in the Middle East. But Maltese companies also need to transform their business. We feel the Maltese community is ready to take advantage of those domestic businesses – some of them very successful that are focused on the IT industry.” Cisco’s 30-year history is a long one in ICT and the company has metamorphosed more than once. In its early years it perfected a simple architecture for ethernet switching; its second decade saw it answer the challenge of increasing bandwidth with is GSR routers; then in 2006 it launched its Human Network programme to bring it closer to the end user. Now it is anticipating the future of the internet. If we think of the growth of

Cisco Malta

Ruben Azzopardi

communications in the last 30 years as exponential, well we ain’t seen anything yet, says Botinis. Every business will be able to take advantage of what Cisco is calling the Internet of Everything. “You could call IoE the intelligent connection of people processes and things. We do feel at Cisco that this will be the trend for the next decade.” Cisco’s aim is to become the number one IT player in the world within the next three years by taking advantage, with its partners round the world,

in the next major evolution of the internet. The fundamentals support this ambition. Back in 1995 there were just a million internet-enabled connections. E-commerce, social media and the cloud, the most recent evolution, have escalated that to around three billion today, however Cisco estimates that by 2020 the number will rise to almost 50 billion. That translates into a worldwide business opportunity of $14.4 trillion, roughly 45 percent of them being

“We are putting in a lot of effort on our mobile providers’ behalf to help them meet the demand from their users” be weekly | 25

“We are asking our partners to take advantage of this evolution and transform their business, whatever that may be” machine-to-machine, or connections that take place between objects without the need for human intervention. Within that there is a large addressable segment for Cisco: “We are asking our partners to take advantage of

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this evolution and transform their business, whatever that may be.” The reality is that the mobile internet is already a reality the Internet of things is only just starting, as everyday objects like medical

Cisco Malta

devices learning programmes, cars, houses as well as white goods join the party that is already in full swing in industry. Cisco will be the enabler, to connect all these devices with each other and with people. Won’t Malta just be a small pawn in this massive game? No way, says Ruben Azzopardi. Everything that happens in western Europe is relevant to Malta: “The latest information from the Visual Networking Index (VNI – Cisco’s analysis of global communications networking) forecasts there are going to be 2.1 mobile connected devices per person in

Europe by 2017, and this means mobile data traffic will have grown about eightfold over the five years between 2012 and 2017. That gives us an idea of where customers and users want to see better performance, and where the demand for bandwidth is coming from. We are putting in a lot of effort on our mobile providers’ behalf to help them meet the demand from their users.” The whole point about the IoE is that it is also the Internet of Everywhere. Malta cannot afford to be insular – no pun intended – where these opportunities are concerned.

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So he has a multifocused strategy, part of which concentrates on Maltese businesses. “In general,” says Ruben, “Cisco is very active in the space of service providers like Melita and Go on the Malta home front, and we are doing this by delivering solutions around what we call intelligent networks. Demand on these service providers is growing daily, and to help them meet it Cisco offers software defined networks driven by Cisco’s open network environment (ONE) that takes networks into the next, more virtual, generation. “It is about making the services a telecoms company can give more relevant to the user and more attuned to give a better user experience,” he says.

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The two rival networks on Malta, Go and Melita, have already benefited from this approach, Go having adopted Cisco Prime Network as a fault management tool that has reduced its infrastructure costs at the same time helping it provide a better service. And Cisco helped Melita to deploy the latest generation of cable technology enabling it to take broadband access to much higher speeds of 100 MB and above in Malta. Melita was one of the first companies in Europe to roll this out on a countrywide basis and the project has become a benchmark for customers in other territories, he proclaims. His job is to introduce leading edge technologies and stay ahead of the evolution

Cisco Malta

“We are giving Maltese companies the tools, the platforms and the development kits to take their ideas and their abilities to that market” defined by IoE and technologies like ONE. A solid ICT infrastructure can support the economy directly and indirectly, he stresses: ICT is basically a supporting infrastructure. It creates high value jobs as well. Malta has been at a very good level when it comes to adoption and introduction of technology at various levels so I think having a healthy

ICT industry and infrastructure helps other parts of the economy. Moreover we are making sure that we have certified specialised and trained people to support the business here in Malta and by transference to neighbours in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.” Nikos Botinis agrees: “Each country has to decide on the strategic advantages and the strategic areas it has within the EU. And then the ICT comes in as an enabler to multiply the effect on the strategy that has been decided on a country level. I would say that this is our role at Cisco, to add value and catalyse this multiplier effect. We started in Malta with one partner and two or three resellers and we now have 25 authorised resellers and we have more than 50 Cisco engineers. Is this adequate? No, to be honest, but we feel Malta is on the right track with the adoption of programs like the Cisco Network Academy Program where we jointly develop engineers in the local market.” Another area of focus for Cisco is the cloud and the growth of software as a service (SaaS) and for Cisco’s direct partners infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Cisco is leading the way with newly announced tools. “We have created an infrastructure platform for our

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Cisco Malta customers to be able to go on the application layer because this is the fundamental part,” says Azzopardi. A key element within ONE is a programme development kit (onePK) that allows application providers to create ‘hooks’ or new applications relating to the network. “It is a more ‘standard’ way of interacting with the network, he explains. “It is still cumbersome to interact with a network device and you need very specific technical knowledge of how that device works. With onePK it is easier for developers to actually talk to the network and ask it to do things or ask it to give information back.” As the internet grew it became complex. The task now is to simplify it again and return the benefits of flexibility and ease of use to application developers. “But this also gives an opportunity to the local developers to think about what they can do to simplify the experience for their users,” says Nikos Botinis. “The network touches everything!” Malta intends to be right in there, promises Ruben Azzopardi. “We are saying to the Maltese companies: ‘You have a vehicle. The government is investing in creating an environment in SmartCity to develop technologies relevant all over the world, not just Europe. What you can develop here can be marketed all over the world.’ We are giving them the tools, the platforms and the development kits to take their ideas and their abilities to that market.” For more information about Cisco Malta visit: www.cisco.com

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Panama Canal Expansion Program

A global

game changer The expansion of the Panama Canal is the highest profile undertaking in all of Central America and one that is on course to change the world of maritime trade forever

written by: Will Daynes research by: Abi Abagun

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Panama Canal


Lock construction, Pacific site

utting across the Isthmus of Panama, the Panama Canal is a 77.1 kilometre ship canal connecting the Atlantic Ocean, via the Caribbean Sea, to the Pacific Ocean and a hugely important conduit for international maritime trade, providing work markets with a time and cost effective crossing. Indeed the Panama Canal has had a massive transformative effect on world maritime commerce over the year, while from a local perspective it contributes some 20 percent of Panama’s total gross domestic product. Work on the canal by the French actually began back in 1881, however a series of engineering problems and high mortality rates led to the project falling into US hands in 1904. Ten years later and the project to construct the first two-lane canal and set of locks was complete, thus enabling ships the opportunity to avoid the lengthy, often hazardous, Cape Horn route around the southernmost tip of South American or to navigate the Strait of Magellan. In 1999 control of the canal was passed on to the Panamanian government who in turn created the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), an autonomous agency tasked with managing the commercial waterway. Since it was opened in 1914, annual traffic through the canal has risen from around 1,000 vessels per year to 14,702 in 2008. His meant that in total, to the end of 2008, more than 815,000 vessels have made use of the canal. When you take these figures into account it becomes immediately quite obvious why the focus in recent years has been on

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Show the world what your company has to offer with our tailored packages

Seen www.bus-ex.com

Panama Canal

Excavation work in progress

expanding the Panama Canal further still. The project itself will involve building Led by the ACP, the Panama Canal two new locks, one each on the Atlantic Expansion Program (also known as the and Pacific sides (each with three chambers Third Set of Locks Project) is set to double with water-saving basins), excavating new the capacity of the canal by 2015 by creating channels to the said locks, widening and a new lane of traffic, while deepening existing channels and raising the maximum allowing more, larger ships to make use of its waterways. operating level of the Gatun Such ships will include the Lake, a large artificial lake that forms a major part of the new generation of super container vessels, something canal system. that will open the canal up The new locks are 30 Of Panama’s GDP comes to new routes and previously percent larger than the from the Panama Canal untapped markets. existing locks. They are so


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“The work currently taking place at the Panama Canal is very much what industry experts are calling history in the making� large in fact that you could fit three Empire State Buildings lengthwise inside their chambers. The third set of locks open and close using double sliding steel gates, each of which weighs approximately 3,300 tonnes.

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In order to ensure the sustainable use of water the lock design incorporates the use of three water saving basins per chamber. These basins allow for as much as 60 percent of the contained water to be reused in each transit.

Panama Canal

Artist’s impression of the finished complex

Meanwhile, away from the canal itself, the ACP continues to contribute towards extensive greenfield reforestation projects where, in order to compensate for the land reclaimed for the canal expansion, some 600 hectares of space has seen the introduction of new trees. This space is also now home to the mammals, birds and reptiles that needed to be relocated once the programme got underway. The programme of works being undertaken ranks as Central America’s most visible expansion program and the largest project in the canal’s history. It is

expected that over the next two decades cargo volumes moving through the canal will continue to grow at an average of three percent per annum, almost doubling the tonnage volume of 2005 by 2025. It is because of this projected increase in traffic that the canal authority and its partners are proceeding rapidly with an undertaking that will ultimately cost $5.25 billion. The existing two sets of locks, which raise ships 85 feet above sea level, have so far defined the “Panamax” standard, which limits the size of container vessels to a maximum

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General view of the Atlantic locks site

Panama Canal

$5.25 Billion Total cost of the expansion program of 5,000 TEU (twenty-foot equivalent units). From 2014, deeper and wider access channels will complement new locks to the southwest of the existing Miraflores Locks on the Pacific side and east of Gatun Locks on the Atlantic side. This will enable the canal to move into the “post-Panamax� phase of its evolution and accommodate the transit of 13,000+ TEU ships. As of April 2013, 54 percent of the total expansion project had been completed with both Atlantic and Pacific entrances among the main section of the undertaking to be ready for use. Throughout the project to date the operators gave successfully managed to keep traffic volumes undisturbed despite the huge amount of dredging equipment that has been brought it. The work currently taking place at the Panama Canal is very much what industry experts are calling history in the making and the expansion of one of the Seven Modern Wonders of the World is sure to be game changing development for traders and consumers the world over. For more information about Panama Canal Expansion Program visit: www.pancanal.com

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Architects of African growth Marketing Manager, Cedric Leturcq talks about BIA Overseas’ operations in Africa and its contribution to the development of the continent

written by: Will Daynes research by: Gareth Hardy 42 | be weekly

BIA Overseas

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BIA Overseas


BIA technician on-site

was in 1902 that a mining engineer by the name of Georges Bia first opened up a sales office in Brussels. It is here that the routes of the BIA Group can be traced back to. Today, 113 years later, BIA exists as a leading international company in the field of machine distribution for the civil engineering and construction industries, with its head offices remaining in Belgium. “It was in 1948 that business for the company really began to take off when Georges Bia’s son, Jacques Bia, established three companies, two distribution companies based in Brussels and the Congo (the BIA Technical Office), and a mechanical repair company in the Congo,” explains Marketing Manager, Cedric Leturcq. BIA would continue to evolve and grow in the subsequent decades, however it was in 1998 that the company’s development began to accelerate dramatically with the company signing an exclusive distribution contract with Komatsu for six French-speaking African countries. By 2003 this figure had grown to 11 and today the company can be found holding exclusivity rights to Komatsu equipment in 15 different nations. It was in 2006 that BIA’s Export Department transformed into BIA Overseas, a subsidiary that is today responsible for all of BIA’s activities in Africa. In addition to its work on behalf of Komatsu, the company is equally proud to be distributors for a host of other premium brands including Sandvik, Bomag, Cummins, Tecnogen and Terex Cranes. With the continent continuing to prosper there has understandably been a continued influx of international companies arriving

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in Africa in recent years. One of the things that Leturcq and others have noticed about a number of these companies is the fact that they arrive with little knowledge of African culture or of the political and economic barriers that exist. This is where BIA Overseas becomes a partner of choice. “While we have been representing Komatsu since 1998, BIA has been present in Africa for more than a century,” Leturcq continues. “Therefore it is safe to say that we possess a strong knowledge of Africa culture and how best to conduct business here. Perhaps equally as important is the fact that we know firsthand how one should never underestimate the complexities that exist in this part of the world.” What the majority of the companies now entering the African market share in common is a desire to focus almost exclusively on their core business, in this case production. To this extent they are turning to companies to provide associated services. Where BIA Overseas looks to position itself ahead of its competition in this regard is by offering a complete a-to-z service whereby its project management teams can oversee all manner of tasks including logistics, the organisation of spare parts, assembly, repairs and overhauls. Of course offering this type of service also allows a client to have direct control of their

costs, something that is very much a feather in the cap for BIA Overseas. “Our approach to business has always been very customer support orientated,” Leturcq states, “to the extent where today 75 percent

“BIA exists as a leading international company in the field of machine distribution for the civil engineering and construction industries” 46 | be weekly

BIA Overseas

On-site repair of dump truck

of our human resources fall into the after sales side of the business. It is this pool of technicians, engineers, engine specialists and mechanics that we are keen to continue developing. Our strategy has never been to simply lead the market by price or volume, rather we have strived to position ourselves as the supplier of choice when it comes to quality.” In more recent times BIA Overseas has found itself working on a number of largescale greenfield projects including First Quantum’s Sentinel mine project in Zambia. These are large scale undertakings starting

from zero and in the case of the Sentinel project BIA Overseas was consulted directly about all manner of things from the definition of equipment to what infrastructure would be required in terms of workshops, re-build centres, warehouses and training facilities. A number of similar projects are on the horizon for BIA Overseas and symbolise the big ambitions that the company has. “As strange as it sounds,” Leturcq says, “perhaps one of the biggest challenges we have faced in the last decade is just how fast we have grown. To sustain this growth we have taken on an

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“Where BIA Overseas looks to position itself ahead of its competition is by offering a complete a-to-z service” increasingly large number of people, going from having around 400 Belgian and African people working for us across the continent in 2009 to more than 1,000 today. In response to this we have worked hard to restructure

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our organisation in such a way that we are now able to not only retain the talent that we have, but also provide the training needed to create the next generation of workers.” The key to BIA Overseas continued success,

BIA Overseas

BIA personnel conducting cement industry operations

according to Leturcq, is a dedication to continued investment, not only in its human resources but also its infrastructure. To this end the company is looking to build further upon the five additional branches that it opened across Africa in 2012, with a new branch set to open in Liberia imminently and plans to increase its presence in Cameroon expected to come into effect in early 2014. “Another important development to note,” Leturcq concludes, “is that we are now in the process of implementing an SAP IT system across the business. This is admittedly a massive

investment, however we believe that, given our size, without a strong IT system we lack the optimum level of efficiency that we desire. We recognise that as we continue to grow that this kind of investment becomes all the more necessary and we will not hesitate to seize the opportunity to better ourselves in the years ahead should the opportunity present itself.” For more information about BIA Overseas visit: www.biaoverseas.com

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50 | be weekly

IMA Engineering

Cutting edge

technology IMA’s products and services can make the difference between profitability and loss for an operation seeking to improve information used by management – and imparted to investors

written by: John O’Hanlon research by: Marcus Lewis

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IMA Engineering


Jukka and OreAlyzer PDSA in Perth 2013

MA stands for Innovative Mineral Analyzers and here is a company that does exactly what its name says. IMA is a technology front-runner in mining on-line analysis, and if that sounds dry, for mining companies concerned to occupy the critical space between metal prices and extraction costs material analysis can well be what decides viability. You can’t plan based on what you don’t know and IMA gives you the critical information often missing in mining; the value of the ore. The company was formerly a part of the Finnish listed engineering group Outokumpu. In the 1990s, faced with a difficult global market, the group restructured around its core business spinning off IMA Engineering, which next January will be celebrating its 20-year anniversary as a private company whose shares are owned by a group of individuals and investors, including its Managing Director Mr Jukka Raatikainen. Jukka was already an experienced engineer and product manager at Outokumpu, and keen to develop products and technologies he had been working on that were then under development and bring them to market. At the time of its foundation IMA was focused on concentrator applications, he says. “We were making analysers for measuring concentrator slurries. We were not involved in the core business of Outokumpu which was mainly to do with analysers for base metal mines. We were developing applications in other areas.” These included the X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) QuarCon system, an on-belt analyser system for monitoring crushed ore products, mainly in limestone

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500 metres Length of core Scanmobile can analyse in a day

QuarCon 200 fast conveyor analyzer

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and ‘white minerals’, and a sampling and analysis product for the cement industry called IMACON. Setting a pattern for its future business model IMA was already working with FLSmidth, the world-leading supplier of cement plants. The QuarCon and IMACON systems are still available, though technology never stands still and these products, leading edge at the time, are now classed as the firm’s ‘traditional’ ranges, he says. By 2000 IMA was already looking at ways to add value in the mining environment. “The in-house technical applications we had, Laser Induced Fluorescence (LIF) for example, led to products developed for the mines. For online measurement the big hurdle is sampling: we developed sampling methods and ways of adapting them from laboratory methods to online applications.” In a laboratory, he explains, samples are prepared, finely ground and examined in vacuum conditions. You may get a more accurate result with it on a spot sample than is possible when examining a fast-moving slurry or powder with on line methods. However, a good degree of analysis accuracy and excellent continuous sampling representativeness can be achieved by an online analyser, giving a reading every 30

IMA Engineering

QuarCon setup in cement plant

seconds. That’s real-time information. “With laboratory testing you are always viewing the process in the rear-view mirror!” he points out. Limestone and cement processes are more tractable than those encountered underground. “Within a mine it is extremely difficult to reach analysis that gives a picture of the area where you are loading and blasting. That is why we developed a X-ray and laser-based conveyor fast analysis applications. Concentrators are stable. They stay in the same place. In a mine the operation is always moving and the sampling

and analysis equipment has to move with the equipment.” IMA’s OreSpex systems are designed to scan in real time the run-ofmine (ROM) ore being conveyed in mines and quarries. This is more than just a matter of good housekeeping: mines have become used to factoring in ‘waste rock dilution’ of between five and 20 percent. If too much waste material is getting into the feed the concentrator is running at lowered efficiency and that goes straight to the bottom line. “We believe it is very important to analyse the material at the point it goes on the conveyor. We offer the technology to analyse it within

“With laboratory testing you are always viewing the process in the rear-view mirror!” be weekly | 55

tenths of seconds, straight from the crusher – then if anything is wrong remedial action, like sorting out the unwanted waste rock or adjusting recovery process parameters according to ore characteristics before it enters the the plant, can be taken straight away.” However waiting till the ore is blasted is too late to really avoid dilution problems. How is it possible to be sure you are only blasting

and loading the ore and not waste rock ? To map the deposit geologists use drilling results of course, but this can be a slow process. Seven years ago IMA Engineering came up with its first on-site drill core analyser in cooperation with its sister company Mine On-Line Service. “In any typical exploration programme,” explains Jukka, “even on a greenfield site, you need to get samples of the ore body. During the exploration phase

“Scanmobile is a factory-like process, in which these boxes are put in the scanning station and automatically analysed on the spot”

OreSpex on conveyor detecting waste

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IMA Engineering

Scanmobile in action

time is becoming very important. Investors want real time information. Quite often it can take ten years from starting drilling to getting a mine into operation. Even majors developing an established ore body don’t want to take that long: for the juniors time is critical.” The company’s response was to develop a scanning station in which cores could be analysed almost instantly and the analysis information could be delivered to mine planning programs within days or weeks instead of years as is the case with conventional technology. The familiar pattern of exploring an area, whether in the mine or outside, is to box up the cores, log them and send them to the laboratory to be analysed. It can take six months to get the results back. “If you are in

a drilling campaign you have to wait till you have those results before you can move on to plan the next holes to drill. We developed a machine that can analyse these drill cores immediately as they are put in the boxes, he says. “It is a factory-like process, in which these boxes are put in the scanning station and automatically analysed on the spot.” A scanning station of this type can handle up to 500 metres of drill core in a day: a drilling campaign of ten kilometres can thus be analysed within a month.. Mine ON-Line Service has been trialling and operating this service, known as Scanmobile, in the Nordic countries of Sweden, Norway and Finland since 2008 – with the emphasis on service. “The mining company doesn’t have to buy the equipment – they just pay by

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the metre!” The equipment is installed in the Scanmobile van and moved from site to site, for the duration of the drilling campaign, he adds. “The information flows automatically from the van and the geologists can see it instantly via the internet. On the same day, or within a couple of days at most, they can download very accurate images of the drill cores, examine the boxes on-screen, and read the analysis.” In practical terms, using Scanmobile gives the client the chance to move without delay to planning the next drill hole pattern and move on to the next drilling campaign. It is a very good example of IMA’s focus on improving

Testing drill cuttings analysis

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mine efficiency and getting the most out of the ore by addressing the real issues faced by mining companies. Scanmobile service is delivered by Mine On-Line Service (MOLS), a kind of in-house partnership that works very well. However to take the products and services to a global market it is IMA’s strategy to link up with larger equipment and systems companies where appropriate. Not all drills produce cores. It is also important to examine the material, known as drill cuttings, brought up by standard percussive or rotary drills – the information from the drill cuttings can’t be as accurate as from a core but by using

IMA Engineering

“We are sure that in ten years all mines will have orealyzer on board their drilling rigs” techniques perfected by IMA it can approach these levels. “We have now developed a method to analyse and feed online the results of drill cuttings using equipment that is installed and integrated with the drill rig,” says Jukka Raatikainen. The new product and service, branded

OreAlyzer, will be brought to market in partnership with the equipment manufacturer Atlas Copco. The analyser will be manufactured by IMA, integrated on Atlas Copco rigs and marketed integrally with them. “We wanted the best possible partner because this is a product with huge global potential,” he continues. “In drill cuttings analysis the challenge is to sample the material that comes out of the hole.” OreAlyzer analyses the elemental content of the cuttings, giving an instant reading. As the drill progresses it can analyse the material within 30 centimetre accuracy giving ‘analyse while drilling’ information which is processed in the rig’s on-board computer and transmitted to the mine in real time along with data about the location, depth, hardness and penetration rate. “This is the best information you can get prior to blasting. It allows you to create a 3D model telling the mine where to blast.” OreAlyzer is nothing less than a mining revolution, he believes, giving operators a new tool to work more accurately, position their blasting correctly, identifying the cutoff line, avoiding waste material sent to the concentrator and improving health and safety too. It is now available on AtlasCopco’s highly automated D65 Smart Rock machine. “We are sure that in ten years all mines will

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Testing prototype in the Arctic

IMA Engineering

20% Typical waste rock dilution in mines have this on board their drilling rigs,” says Jukka confidently. “At present they don’t know how much ore they are losing in the waste stream. They only have average results. A new world opens when you have a 3D model of the bench.” IMA On-Line Mine Vision is behind all these products, and others it has in development. Accurate extraction of an accurately identified ore body and stable feed to the concentrator are business critical goals for mining companies. IMA is a research based company, and will continue to look for partners to adopt and market its products – privately owned, well-funded and with excellent links to universities and research institutions in Finland. There are many more applications for its technology says Jukka: “We are always looking for new applications in the market.” Those attracting his interest currently include slag analysis and the optimisation of laterite ore bodies but whatever the mine’s problem IMA engineering is happy to discuss it, develop a solution, and hopefully bring it to the market in the shape of a product that will benefit the industry as a whole. For more information about IMA Engineering visit: www.ima.fi

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Continental Coal

African energy for Asia Continental Coal is a company whose second name could be ‘expansion’: with three operating mines and another in development this year, growth is a key part of its policy

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Continental Coal


ased in Perth, Western Australia, is destined for Asia, shipped out through the and listed on the Australian largest coal terminal in the world, Richards Securities exchange (ASX), Bay in KwaZulu Natal. It might be thought Continental Coal is a mining that Australia itself, or the coalfields of company with an Australian India were better placed to supply China, accent – which means it understands coal and it is true that logistically these do have production and, even more importantly, the an edge on South Africa. However Jason market that is blotting up most of the world’s Brewer the company’s finance director has coal and promises to do so for a long time. This pointed out that reliability of supply is of the is of course Asia, and notably China and India. first importance to the power generators of However Continental Coal is a thermal coal Asia. Thanks to Richards Bay South Africa producer, which means its primary market is can provide a more dependable service power generation: whatever the shape of these that either Indonesia with its quality issues great economies’ industry and even Australia, where in periods of future growth, port expansion and rail energy is going to be required infrastructure projects delays and the most cost effective are an issue. way to provide this is still coal. Continental currently The company is unusual in has three operating mines, that its production assets are Penumbra, Vlakvarkfontein currently all located in South and Ferreira, producing 2.8 Invested at Africa. The head office may million tonnes per annum Penumbra mine be in Perth but the company of thermal coal for both the defines itself as a South export and domestic markets. African producer. As well as being listed on In 2013/14 Continental is set to commence the ASX, it has been listed on London’s AIM development of its fourth thermal coal mine, market since September 2011, giving it access De Wittekrans. The Ferreira mine near Ermelo to a wider variety of investors. It is now in the in Mpumalanga Province is just two kilometres process of listing on the Johannesburg Stock from the company’s Delta processing plant. It Exchange too, and its CEO is a South African. is a conventional open-case mine: operations Don Turvey has spent most of his 27 years’ started here in 2008, and the mine was slated experience in the coal industry in his native for closure last year until the mine’s life was country, much of it working for BHP Billiton, extended last year to incorporate adjacent through he has experience of Australia, the resources. It is now expected to produce up to an additional 700,000 tonnes. USA and Indonesia as well. Though it has key supply agreements However a more recent acquisition, with Eskom, South Africa’s national power Vlakvarkfontein another open cast mine 100 generation company, the bulk of its production kilometres away near Delmas to the west



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Endeto Engineering is a newly established company in Middelburg, Mpumalanga. Our main aim is to deliver an excellent service to our clients. We offer and deliver fabrication, machining, maintenance and construction services at a highly competitive price.

FABRICATION AND ERECTION • Specialized welding • Ducting’s and Dampers • Conveyor Pulleys, Drives Systems and Structures • Raw Coal Systems i.e. Chutes, Square to Rounds, Coal Gates, Raw Coal Pipes, etc. • Machine Spares or Components • Screens, Screen Parts and Feeders PIPING AND STRUCTURAL STEEL • Air lines for valves and control systems • Pipe Installations (large and small bore)

• Any Steel Structures GENERAL PLANT MAINTENANCE • Routine Maintenance on: • Washing Plants • Mining machinery • Coal handling/processing plant • Conveyor Systems • Ductings and Dampers • Precipitators • Ash Handling Systems • Boiler Burners • Turbine Auxiliary Systems

• Turbine Components • Machining (all types) Sheeting Repairs • Roof and • Water Plants • Pump Repairs • Sewage Plants and Systems • Valve Maintenance

“Your highest level of Service” Tel: 013-246 1310 Fax: 013-246 1383 | 086 679 0290 Office Email: admin@endeto.co.za


Click here to visit our dedicated homepage for the mining community www.bus-ex.com/mining BEST PRACTICE IN MINING

Continental Coal of Johannesburg is a key Endeto Engineering asset regarding the domestic Endeto Engineering is a new established company in market for Continental. Middelburg, Mpumalanga with a great future ahead. Under a contract signed in The combination of skills shared by the owners of Endeto March 2012 it is one of only Engineering is a strong foundation for the success of the 25 direct suppliers of coal business. Our members have extensive experience in the to Eskom, and its 17 million maintenance and production fields of the Engineering Industry and have served the Industry for over 20 years. tonnes of proven reserve is They also specialize in Power Generation experience sufficient to keep supplying with specific experience in Maintenance Management it for another decade. (Mechanical and Electrical), Contract Management and Between them Ferreira and Project Management. Vlakvarkfontein produce 1.2 We specialise in steel fabrication, machining, repairs, million tonnes per annum mechanical maintenance and construction, recognising for the domestic market and the needs of today’s industry. admin@endeto.co.za 600,000 tonnes for export. Ferreira is now a stable operation while Vlakvarkfontein is exceeding all its targets and is now producing 1.4 million tonnes a year. However it is Continental Coal’s third operating mine Penumbra, five kilometres from Ferreira, that is driving the next phase of the Australian company’s growth. Production started there at the end of 2012, with the first coal being mined in November. Since then it has been a question of fast-track development: the first continuous mining section, including breakers and conveyors, was installed last December, and this was followed up in February this year by a second. Ferreira coal mine

“Listed on the ASX and AIM, Continental Coal is now in the process of listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange” be weekly | 67

Penumbra is currently producing in the region of 30,000 tonnes a month: at full capacity this will be more than doubled. That stage should be reached before 2013 is out and once the final instalments of the $10 million from the sale of its non-core VanMag vanadium and magnetite arm to a Chinese company have been banked. In all, around $33 million has been invested. This is an underground mine, with enough reserves to last ten years: in the current financial year it is expected to 200,000 tonnes of high quality export coal, generating some $17 million in revenue while at full production it will be generating half a million tonnes for the export market. All this is very impressive, but it won’t get Continental Coal to the target it has set itself, which is to reach ten million tonnes per year at some point in 2015. Expect then to see a lot more expansion of the type that has already taken place. In 2011 a feasibility study was completed on the company’s De Wittekrans complex, which has the potential to produce 2.4 million tonnes per year of a thermal coal product described as ideally suited to the Asian coal market over an initial 30-year mine life. De Wittekrans has the potential to become the Company’s flagship project, Don Turvey believes, starting as an open cast operation and later graduating to an underground pit

The company currently sees De Wittekrans as the jewel in its crown, holding as it does estimated reserves of 44 million tonnes, 16.2 million of them in the proven category: it brings the company’s total proven reserves in south Africa to 32.3 million tonnes. Continental Coal’s community involvement and social responsibility commitment is aimed at encouraging economic development in the areas in which it operates. In the early part of this year the first group of students obtained

“Penumbra is expected to produce 200,000 tonnes of high quality export coal, generating some $17 million in revenue” 68 | be weekly

Continental Coal

their certificates for successfully completing the first level of their module under the company’s Adult Basic Education and Training Program at the Vlakvarkfontein Coal Mine. In addition directors and managers visited the Arbor Village, located near to the Vlakvarkfontein Coal Mine, where three classrooms at the Arbor Primary School have been renovated and where the donation of a mobile office to the Arbor Home Based Care Group was made by the company to assist in the care of the elderly and sick and the bi-monthly clinic with the Department of Health. Phase 1 of a Lavender Oil Program at the Arbor Village commenced in February 2013, with an initial eight people employed on this project. The company is very active with other prospects in South Africa, developing a feasibility study for its Vlakplaats project

under an agreement with the Korean company KORES. Vlakplaats is close to Wolvenfontein, another development project recently acquired to consolidate Continental Coal’s position in the Delmas region. At the same time as it reaches out for its ten million tonnes target Continental Coal is looking to expand beyond South – and even southern Africa. Through its Botswana subsidiary, Weldon Investment it holds three tenements in that country, holding massive reserves that it is currently drilling, and Don Turvey has talked of a potential move into East Africa – a move that would make it truly continental. For more information about Continental Coal visit: www.conticoal.com

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MANUFACTURING WORKWEAR & PPE FOR SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA Our vision is to be the preferred partner of choice for protective wear and PPE, and to maintain our reputation as leading manufacturers of uniform solutions for the markets in which we operate


malgamated Dress is a leading manufacturer of workwear and personal protective equipment (PPE). In order to be a true market leader, the company recognises that simply catering for the needs of the mass market is not sufficient enough. Amalgamated dress have the capability to manufacture bespoke products for the many international mining, drilling, construction and security companies. Clients are approached in a unique, case-by-case manner to

“ProSafe is a widely recognised trademark in Zambia and is synonymous with high quality” 70 | be directory

ensure that their needs are met in the most effective and cost-efficient way. The company’s flagship brand, ProSafe is a widely recognised trademark in Zambia and is synonymous with high quality. Alongside the quality and popularity of the range, Prosafe products also adhere to international specifications. Amalgamated Dress initially started manufacturing workwear, but they are eager to keep abreast with changes in the market and are continuously expanding their product range to cater to their diverse clientele. As of today, they supply the full range of PPE and their manufactured product range encompass the full range of gloves, safety glasses, earplugs and respiratory equipment. Products move swiftly from the manufacturing source to the end users in the most efficient way, therefore clients can be confident

Amalgamated Dress

that they are not only receiving quality products, but are also receiving the best value for money. The Copperbelt is the mining hub of Zambia and Amalgamated Dress is strategically located in Ndola providing a central location to serve the mining community. Ndola also lies on the border of The Democratic Republic of Congo allowing the company to effectively export goods to the large mining community in the Katanga Province. As well as serving the Zambian market, Amalgamated Dress also exports to Malawi, Zimbabwe and Angola and is continuously looking for distributing partners to expand

their horizons within Africa. Our ever-growing network of distributing partners know their respective local markets and understand the importance of providing an efficient service to their clients.

AMALGAMATED DRESS Plot B3, President Avenue North, P.O. Box 240313 Ndola, Zambia T +260 212 611337 www.amalgamated-dress.com

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Included The BE Mining Directory showcases leading mining organisations from across the world, ranging from big corporations to junior mines and their supply chains. Be seen throughout our portfolio of magazines: • BE Mining Directory • BE Mining • BE Weekly • BE Monthly •

To find out how to get involved contact: vincent@bus-ex.com

Profile for Business Excellence Magazine


Issue No.57


Issue No.57


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