"Most of the companies in West Africa are part of a group and decisions to implement new technologies and innovation emanates from the group level. It does take a while longer for these advancements to reach West Africa, but the mines in West Africa are willing to adapt and the digitalization movement is on its way to the region."
Metso is dealing in the innovation, optimization and digitization of mines. How open is West Africa to adopt innovation?
The mining industry in Africa has realized the benefits that come with innovation and the industry is starting to become more open and willing to adopt technologies. Most of the companies in West Africa are part of a group and decisions to implement new technologies and innovation emanates from the group level. It does take a while longer for these advancements to reach West Africa, but the mines in West Africa are willing to adapt and the digitalization movement is on its way to the region.
Can you elaborate on Metso mining optimization products?
Metso is focused on improving operational efficiency, increasing profitability and reducing risks for our clients. To the mining industry we offer solutions for comminution, beneficiation, tailings management, pyro-processing, materials handling and slurry handling. We provide end-to-end solutions to the mining industry aimed at continuous improvement.
One of the innovative products that we launched in 2019 was our VPX Filter which provides about 90% water recovery. As sustainability and social responsibility have become a top priority for mining companies, efficient use of water and recovery of minerals as well as safe tailings management have increased in importance. The way water is used and tailings are handled can have a long-term impact on economic efficiency as well as on community well-being and ecosystem sustainability. Metso’s holistic tailings management solution moves towards dry tailings and provides a safe long term solution for the closing of legacy dams while answering today’s immediate challenges.
We also introduced the Metso hybrid truckbody, a light weight truck body which is 20-30%lighter than conventional steel-line truck body; it helps you haul more payload per round, improving operational efficiency with unprecedented wear life and truck bed liners which protect the truckbody from wear and allows longer service life.
We also have an innovative Metso Metrics platform as part of our life cycle services offering for the mining and aggregates industries; a new digital solution which, with the help of sensors, enables access to critical data for process and asset optimization and maintenance needs.
Can you give insight into Metso’s maintenance and repair services?
Our maintenance and repair service is one of Metso’ differentiating factors. We are committed to helping our clients get the most out of their operations and our comprehensive service portfolio is supported by deep technical knowledge and experience. As equipment ages, production efficiency and reliability can decline. Proper maintenance and repairs can reduce the signs of aging to ensure that our clients’ production goals are met. We support our customers from one-time fixes to full turnkey projects while following strict standards and tolerances for guaranteed safety and reliability. We do not only sell equipment to the customer, but back our products with a knowledgeable and experienced service team.
Will Ghana continue to be the country where the expertise radiates from, or are there other countries which could be established as new hubs of expertise?
In my opinion, Ghana is still the country with the most expertise and experience as well as the most conducive environment for any investor. Other countries in Africa such as Senegal and Cote D’Ivoire are significantly developing expertise within the mining industry, but they are not there yet as they look up to Ghana in their quest to buid a sustainable industry. As of the ease of doing business in Ghana, I believe that the country will remain the mining hub of West Africa for a while longer. However, I think a further revision of the tax regime downward in the industry could further ensure that the country stays competitive and continues to attract interest and investment.
What does sustainability mean for Metso?
Customers are looking at which vendor can provide the most reliable, cost effective, efficient and safe to use equipment. For us, sustainability means that we do things efficiently and responsibly in terms of the environment, our people and the economy. These three dimensions are critical throughout our value chain, from procurement to end product. Metso believes that one of the best ways to promote sustainable development is to innovate new and better technologies to improve on current ways of operating; thereby helping our customers get more out of the mineral of interest. We are a responsible and trusted partner for our customers and offer reliable, efficient, safe and sustainable equipment.
Metso is actively looking for a local partner. What would be the ideal partner?
Metso Minerals is still looking at selecting partners who would come on board to share in our vision and we will go through all the right processes in choosing a partner. We are looking for a long term maintenance and repair partnership with a company that is compliant to regulatory settings and has the same values and mission as us in driving customer success.
Where do you believe Metso will grow the most in West Africa in the upcoming five years?
Even though Ghana is a mature market, Metso Minerals still sees significant growth opportunities. We would also like to increase and expand our footprint in the Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Mali. The gold market is currently our focus, but our products are not limited to the gold industry and we also serve other commodity markets such as the copper, aluminium, manganese, rutile, iron market.
Do you have a final message for our international readership?
Anyone looking for a trusted and sustainable partner should choose Metso. Metso drives profitable growth and sustainable productivity to create value for our stakeholders. Our strategy is based on five fundamentals – innovation, operational excellence, people and leadership, customer centricity, and service leadership.