This year’s Joburg Indaba brings with it hopes of increased and ongoing investment in the mining sector, specialist transport company Unitrans regional business development manager Joubert van Schalkwyk tells Mining Weekly.
The event, which will be held virtually on October 6 and 7, will help spur the investment needed to stimulate the growth of the mining sector and the South African economy.
“Mining has always been at the forefront of employment and growth, and needs to be expanded.”
He adds that environmental, social and governance (ESG) – one of the core topics for this year’s event – is a fundamental part of Unitrans’ ethos.
“We understand the importance that mining houses place on ESG and the consequent requirements that they have for suppliers, which must assist them in achieving their ESG targets.”
Mining stakeholders need to ensure that the socioeconomic and physical environment benefits offered to the mines’ host communities, or so-called doorstep communities, are extended long after mining has ceased.
Unitrans regards this as crucial, not only for its own success but also for that of the country. As such, it has taken to creating partnerships and joint ventures with “doorstep entrepreneurs” to ascertain and promote the implementation of a mine’s post-closure plan.
Further, in expanding on its goal of achieving long-term sustainability, Van Schalkwyk acknowledges that Unitrans’ road train operations will always have an impact on emissions and, ultimately, the environment.
However, by achieving higher payloads, the company is able to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, which, consequently, contributes to improving road safety, as well as greater payloads which ensures that Unitrans’ vehicles travel fewer kilometres, which reduces emissions.
The company’s fleet comprises a range of machinery, under contract with various clients, and includes excavators, wheel loaders, articulated dump trucks, off-highway rigid dump trucks and graders.
The fleet is also complemented by watercarts, rollers, normal back-end tippers and road trains. Notably, the road trains include up to three side-tipping trailer combinations and can accommodate 80 t payloads.
“We supply diverse operations in South Africa, including hard-rock, opencast mines, where we load and haul blasted material from bench to hopper or stockpile, and undertake the required road maintenance and dust suppression,” he explains.
Van Schalkwyk adds that Unitrans has been involved with the load and haul of heavy mineral sands for more than 37 years.
Meanwhile, the rehabilitation of mines is becoming crucial for government, which has prompted Unitrans Supply Chain Solutions to include a reclamation solution in its offering.
“Through solid joint ventures with well- respected drilling and blasting, as well as crushing and screening companies, Unitrans can present total contract mining solutions to customers,” Van Schalkwyk concludes.