"Maxam is spending a lot of time optimizing the cost of transport and sourcing, as well as reducing the need for imports to continue to offer competitive prices and enable savings for our customers."

Bernard Kaninda


November 28, 2022

How is Maxam managing higher cost pressures?

Because we import our raw materials from Europe and other parts of the world, we are facing the direct impact of both more expensive logistics (and freight forwarding), as well as higher fuel costs for transportation. We also had to make changes in our supply chain, because we used to source some raw materials from Russia. As a partner to the mining industry, Maxam is spending a lot of time optimizing the cost of transport and sourcing, as well as reducing the need for imports to continue to offer competitive prices and enable savings for our customers.

What are the key demand trends you identify across the region?

Growth has been most evident in countries with an established mining sector and multiple gold mines already in production, such as Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso, though security challenges and political instability have slowed Mali and Burkina Faso’s growth pace. Meanwhile, Ivory Coast has always been seen as a potential gold producer, and things are really starting to happen for the country, with the advancement of multiple mines. For Mauritania and Guinea, the last few years have been more static but, nevertheless, steady. Finally, Zambia is very exciting for us, and it has great scope for further developments, but the copper price has nosedived which may slow down investment.

What makes Maxam’s blasting technologies stand out from the competition?

Maxam’s flagship product, Rioflex, comes with a 20-30% higher energy (depending on the rock) compared to the standard normal base emulsion. The higher energy will create a higher-intensity explosion, which requires fewer holes being drilled; the fewer holes required, the better results our clients achieve while using less explosive and doing less drilling. Beyond this double saving, Maxam’s products offer what we call downstream savings. When the material is well-blasted, there is less pressure on equipment like shovels, diggers and trucks. Then, at the crushing stage, again, a finer material obtained through blasting will result in energy savings. Maxam has developed this package of advantages into a framework and we work together with our clients to make sure they achieve all these savings. This holistic solution is what makes Rioflex, but also other products in our portfolio, so well-recognized by the industry. Separate from the commercial advantages, Rioflex offers a chemical advantage because it can use any type of ammonia nitrate, whereas normal emulsions are limited to using only one type. Given the pressures around raw materials globally, our technology is superior in its flexibility and adaptability under any conditions.

The X-Energy concept is the translation of the Rioflex full capabilities. It’s the most advanced technology to reduce the total cost of operation and improve productivity by optimizing the Energy consumption.

How is Maxam working to improve safety?

Safety has always been our number one priority and our sites are regularly audited. Recently, we introduced a new safety structure into the region. Maxam is also taking precautionary actions to minimize the risk around the transportation of our products – for instance by deploying smaller modular plants to reduce the movement of explosives over long distances. We are working hand in hand with the different regulatory bodies to implement and develop the best safety practices.

Do you have a final message you’d like to share with our audience?

We are very proud of the legacy we built in Ghana in the last 28 years since operating here. Maxam has never stopped evolving in its 150 years as a company, and this is because we are always thinking about coming up with and operationalizing solutions that can truly make a difference.


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"We are the first company in the world to produce a mine-duty battery charger that is designed for underground mining, and that was done more than 10 years ago!"
"The industry is relatively conservative. Although there have been some excellent improvements in productivity, I would say that a global lack of qualified labor has driven the shift from mechanical to automated drills."


Southeast Asia Chemical Week Report 2023

Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and The Philippines are all competing for foreign direct investment (FDI) in the chemicals sector. The region would become more competitive to international investors if it learned to act more as one – for instance, by developing upstream-to-downstream regional value chains and by focusing on complementary differentiating points, rather than competing ones. Investments in any ASEAN nation can benefit the entire region if these are guided to an equal extent by consid- erations of differentiation and integration. This would lead to the development of a complete and self-sustaining regional ecosystem.



"With mining companies currently enjoying high prices, exceptional production performance and robust supply chains, we anticipate that the sector will continue showing resilience and growth, remaining financially sound in 2023."