Can you provide a brief overview of Kal Tire’s history in Southern Africa?

Kal Tire originated in Canada in 1953, initially providing tire-related services for road construction projects. Over the years, the company expanded its offerings to include the mining sector and has established a strong presence in Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Australia. Our presence in Africa began over a decade ago, and in 2017, we acquired Tyre Corporation in South Africa, making us the largest and most diverse tire services company on the African continent. In Africa, more than 90% of our business is focused on the mining sector, with a primary emphasis on surface mining in West Africa and both underground and surface mining in Southern Africa. Our Johannesburg office serves the Southern African region, while our offices in the UK cater to the West African region.

How does Kal Tire tailor its solutions to meet the specific needs of mining companies?

As a multi-brand dealer, we collaborate with tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 manufacturers. We work closely with our supply partners to develop and grow selected brands that align with the specific requirements of our customers. This approach ensures that the brands we offer ultimately deliver the operational value our customers seek. In the South African market, we have exclusive access to a range of products for both surface and underground mining that have proven to be highly effective and add significant value to our clients.

Could you provide more information about Kal Tire’s GAS and TOMS systems and how they enhance your overall offering?

Our innovative Tire Operation Management System (TOMS) is a state-of-the-art management system for tires that greatly impacts productivity, tire lifespan, and safety. TOMS focuses on fleet productivity and provides accessible, near-real-time reports, offering visibility for planned and predictive maintenance. This enables informed, real-time decision-making. The system facilitates instant visual communication between the entire fleet planning team, allowing for more tire work to be performed while trucks are already undergoing maintenance.

Additionally, our award-winning Gravity Assist System (GAS) is designed to support the weight of heavy tools, reducing safety risks such as fatigue and muscle strain for technicians. GAS exemplifies Kal Tire’s commitment to innovation in enhancing safety, reducing risks, and improving productivity across mining operations.

How does Kal Tire contribute to helping mining companies achieve their sustainability goals?

At Kal Tire, we have invested in the development of solutions that assist our customers in fulfilling their sustainability commitments. We have always prioritized the complete lifecycle of tires, emphasizing the importance of solutions such as recycling, re-treading, and repairs. Our aim is not only to extend tire life but also to address the significant challenge of recycling scrap tires. We are proud to be the only company globally with a thermal conversion facility that revolutionizes the recycling process for large mining tires. Through a heat-based decomposition process in the absence of oxygen, we convert tires back into their original components of fuel oil, carbon black, and steel. This facility has a capacity to recycle 20 tons of tires daily, with 40% of the weight of scrap tires having the potential to be used as alternative fuels. Our innovative re-treading and repair solutions also contribute to extending tire lifespan and performance, generating cost savings, and significantly reducing the environmental impact by keeping tires out of the waste stream.

What are the main challenges Kal Tire faces when operating in Southern Africa?

The most significant challenge we encounter in most African countries, including Southern Africa, is corruption. However, we are encouraged by the progress South Africa is making in addressing this issue, and we hope to see better control over corruption and crime in the country. Low levels of foreign investment due to associated political risks make it extremely difficult to grow our market presence. Other countries in the region, such as Botswana and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), consistently attract more capital investment into their mining sectors compared to South Africa. Despite the significant opportunities that remain in South Africa and the surrounding region, we need to overcome these hurdles to foster growth, attract foreign investment, and promote development in the mining industry.

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