British Steel has secured a new contract to help service the African mining industry.
It will see the company supply South African steel manufacturer Robor with its premium tophat shaft guides – hoisting systems used in underground mining operations to guide cages and skips in vertical mine shafts.
British Steel’s special profiles are used in underground and surface mining operations, with its profiles being used in mine infrastructure and a vast array of mining machinery and vehicles.
The steel for the profiles is made at the company’s headquarters in Scunthorpe before being rolled at its Special Profiles Mill at Skinningrove on Teesside.
Colin Mawdsley, British Steel technical sales manager for special profiles, said: “This is excellent news and we’re delighted to be strengthening our partnership with Robor.
“We’ve been working with the manufacturers of mining equipment for many years and know that equipment must be carefully designed and built to meet exacting demands.
“Customers rely on our steel to deliver the performance they need, and this is precisely what our tophat shaft guides do.
“We’ve worked alongside Robor for over 36 years, supplying large quantity orders for mining projects across the world, the majority being in Southern Africa.
“This agreement will enable us to provide more mining companies with one of our premium products.”
British Steel’s tophat shaft guides offer many benefits including easier installation and reduced maintenance.
Their properties, including close-dimensional control and straightness, mean less swing in the shaft and a smoother, faster lift. Tophat sections generally last for the life of the mine.
Colin said: “Current market conditions mean there are fewer new mines being developed, and as a result, the focus is shifting towards prolonging and maintaining the life of older, existing mine shafts.
“This means mining companies are seeking smaller quantity orders of tophats, which aren’t cost effective for us to produce.
“In order to meet market demands, we’ll supply Robor with bulk quantities of shaft guides that will be held as retail stock. Having readily available stock offers customers the opportunity to buy reduced quantities on a short lead-time which is a huge advantage for smaller projects.”
Gordon Gilmer, CEO at Robor, added: “We’re delighted to reach this agreement with British Steel after many years working together.
“We look forward to using our African market knowledge and logistics expertise to maximise tophat sales to the African mining industry.”