Modern Mining March 2023


African Trading Group boldly expands to

Johannesburg-based maintenance supply chain services company African Trading Group is expanding its geographical footprint to conquer new frontiers in Central America and Asia. This is not just any ordinary expansion – it’s a high-stakes adventure into the unknown, full of risks and rewards – and, with our expertise and determination, African Trading Group is poised to make our mark on the global stage, says CEO LeeAnn Strydom.

E stablished in 2010 as a fledgling business, today African Trading Group, which specialises in conveyor belting equipment, wear and corrosion services, plant maintenance and procurement of equipment and products for various industries such as oil & gas, rail, ports, manufacturing, and mining, is growing in leaps and bounds. And it has recently opened three new international branches. In August last year, the company opened a branch in Panama City and, following strong demand for its products, expanded its warehouse to 400 m². “Establishing a branch in Panama (Central America) allows us to be closer to our customers and, by manufacturing in-house, we are able to supply products directly to end-users and avoid the supply chain delays that businesses face. Despite being a product supplier for just six months, we have delivered services in belt maintenance and supplied pulleys, laggings, and ceramics, to a copper mine in Latin America. The opportunity for growth in the resource-rich Latin American market, home to several massive mines, especially copper mines, is tremendous for us,” says Strydom. As Panama is a strip of land connecting North and South America, this allows African Trading access to both the North and Latin American markets. Dinarte Menezes, the global business developer for African Trading Group explains that Panama

The Panama Canal Authority has increased the maximum allowable length for vessels transiting the Neopanamax Locks.

offers a business-friendly environment with low tax rates, minimal regulations, and a stable political and economic climate. “Aside from the special economic zones and incentives for businesses that invest in specific sectors, the government in Panama has, over the past few years, invested heavily in infrastructure development including the expansion of the Panama Canal and the development of new ports, airports, and highways. These investments have improved transportation and logistics capabilities, making it easier for businesses to move goods and services in and out of the country. Moreover, Panama uses the US dollar as its official currency, which provides stability and certainty for businesses operating in the region,” says Menezes. Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which underpins its strategy to diversify its economy away from oil and gas to mining, and its active recruitment of specialists to help grow its resources sector, has been the impetus for African Trading to open an office in Al Jubail, a well-known business district in Saudi Arabia. “Although the country is eager to make a success of mining, it currently has limited skills sets for conveyor belt maintenance. As an expert in the field, African Trading, which has a partnership with local entity Synergies Tech, recently won two substantial conveyor-belt maintenance contracts for mining projects,” explains Strydom. Aside from its success in mining, African Trading has also been active in the cement industry and the military in Qatar. The company employs 300 people across its branches, with growth expectations from its international foray expected to see African Trading employ more people.

Conveyor belt replacement for a project in Tete Province in Mozambique.

8  MODERN MINING  March 2023

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