Can you give an overview of Fabchem Mining and the company’s history in South Africa?

Fabchem Mining was established in 1996 and specializes in providing comprehensive underground support solutions for both hard rock and coal mines. We have built a reputation as a trusted manufacturer, distributor, and supplier, serving customers across Africa, Australia, and South America. Our primary markets are in the SADEC and West African regions. Our core business revolves around strata control, and we take pride in manufacturing and selling customized anchors suitable for any hole size. We are committed to continuous innovation, aiming to develop advanced solutions for the mining and civil strata support industries.

Can you elaborate on Fabchem’s innovative products?

As a leading OEM of strata control products, we invest in intensive market research and continuously evaluate the performance of our current and new products. One of our notable innovations is our stressing jacks, which are used for tensioning cable anchors. These jacks are the lightest on the market, greatly enhancing productivity and ergonomics. Additionally, we have developed a handheld electronic unit called the grout detector. This device ensures that an anchor has been fully grouted during and after its installation. It uses sensors attached to the cable anchor to detect sufficient grout coverage along the entire length of the anchor. This innovative validation device significantly increases safety by reducing the risk of ground fall. We also offer portable drilling equipment, including new and refurbished portable gopher roof bolters.

Have local content laws in South Africa contributed to Fabchem’s growth?

Absolutely. The focus on local content development has been instrumental in our company’s growth. Mines in South Africa are increasingly looking to support local companies, foster technology improvements, and enhance global competitiveness. We anticipate continuous growth not only within South Africa but also as the rest of the continent becomes more industrialized and implements similar local content policies.

How is the company capitalizing on digitization and automation trends?

At Fabchem, we differentiate ourselves through innovation and continuously strive to develop new technologies to remain competitive in the global market. We have ongoing projects aimed at ensuring our products and systems embrace the advancements of the fourth industrial revolution. Most of our business systems are already cloud-based, providing remote visibility and flexibility. We are also incorporating digital principles into our products, enabling us to connect our machines to the cloud and implement automation technologies that enhance safety and efficiency.

How does the South African mining charter support local manufacturers and promote their development?

The mining charter, particularly in terms of goods procurement, has been a significant step forward. While there are still areas under review and challenge by the Minerals Council, the local content requirements have compelled us to focus on what can be achieved in South Africa. We acknowledge that there is still progress to be made in terms of organizing local manufacturing efforts, but we are moving in the right direction. Promoting local manufacturing presents a significant opportunity for job creation as well.

A crucial aspect for promoting local manufacturing is the implementation of a proper product coding system that allows for easy aggregation of demands. Once we have a clear understanding of the volumes consumed by the mining industry, it becomes easier to build a business case for local production. Additionally, addressing the challenge of varying definitions of local content will provide greater clarity, enhance investor confidence, and attract foreign direct investment.

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