With exciting prospects for new mines and brownfield projects in Zimbabwe, Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions’ Harare-based operation remains at full capacity and at the leading edge of industry innovation.
“We are looking forward to two new platinum operations taking shape, which could be producing within five years, as well as the expansion and digitalisation of existing operations,” says Ian Bagshaw, territory manager for Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions. “There will also be the rejuvenation of brownfield operations in surface and underground mines.”
Strengthening its capacity to serve its market – which includes customers in Botswana and Mozambique – the company has upgraded the skills, tooling and equipment of its service centre and completed a state-of-the-art technology centre.
The service centre in Harare remanufactures all current models of Sandvik mobile equipment and also houses a repair and rebuild facility for all major components as well as a dedicated drifter repair and test centre.
Its world class Technology Centre works with customers to fully utilise the range of Sandvik digital tools to increase safety and productivity in mining operations.
“We are proud of our strong technical foundation, with about 60% of our 420 plus workforce being engineers, artisans, auto-electricians and other technical specialists,” says Bagshaw. “Investing in training our own people is a priority, and we are proud to note the considerable interest from women in Zimbabwe in pursuing technical careers with some 30% of our apprentices being female at any time.”
Sandvik Mining & Rock Solutions’ Zimbabwean operation supports the full range of Sandvik equipment in the country ranging from underground trucks and loaders to surface drills and crushing and screening equipment. Bagshaw explains that service and support is tailored to suit each customer’s requirements and ranges from full maintenance contracts to field service callouts, both back by a comprehensive parts stockholding, digital monitoring and ongoing training.
He highlights the value of the company’s dedicated training department – delivering operator and technical training in-house and for customers. Gap analysis is also provided by the training team, helping mines to assess their skills base and provide targeted training programmes for operators as well as technical and supervisory staff.
“We are also looking forward to mineral developments in Botswana, where activity on the Kalahari copper belt have created significant opportunities for the mining industry,” he says. “In the near future we will see copper and diamond operations going underground, which is an exciting prospect.”
Bagshaw notes that Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions’ Harare facility has remained fully operational through the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring that mines could continue producing optimally as essential services even during the ‘lockdown’ months.
“We are staying abreast of the latest global sustainability trends and corporate mandates, having installed a 420 panel solar energy system to generate 100 kW of power to our facility,” he says. This supplies about 75% of requirements, and reduces its carbon footprint by over 400 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year.