Opening doors

Crossroads has entered the manganese sector with a contract to transport fuel to a Northern Cape mine.

Crossroads has entered into a contract to provide the distribution and on-site provision of fuel to Tshipi E’ Ntle, a manganese mine in the Northern Cape. Crossroads has been waiting for an opportunity to enter this market and this new contract is the perfect “foot in the door”.

The Tshipi E’ Ntle manganese mine is a recent development that aims to achieve an annual output of
2,4 million metric tons for the next 60 years, with the expectation to push that number to 5 million tons/year, providing economic circumstances allow such growth.

The contract with Crossroads involves the provision of on-site fuel delivered from the Kroonstad terminal to a storage facility at the mine. As the mine is opencast – which involves using a lot of earth-moving equipment – it will use much more fuel than a conventional underground mining operation, as the provision of fuel becomes strategic.

Crossroads is expected to transport up to 1,5 million litres of fuel each month and it’s confident its commitment and experience in fuel transportation will enable it to manage the contract into a strategic partnership.

“South Africa has 80 percent of the world’s known manganese deposits, which is why we’re excited to enter this market,” says Gerhard van der Horst, chief executive officer of Crossroads. “It’s a fast-developing industry in this country and we look forward to growing our business in this area as the Tshipi mine increases its output in the years to come.

“Our work in the fuel sector is second to none. Our safety standards, driver training and track record in previous contracts with Chevron played a big role in this award,” says Van der Horst.

The contract wasn’t awarded after a tender but through an exemplary recommendation from fuel giant Chevron. Crossroads and Chevron have worked together in the past and in July last year Crossroads was contracted by Chevron to transport jet fuel to Cape Town International airport at the rate of 260 million litres per annum.

“In addition to the standard dangerous goods training we give our drivers every year, our drivers undergo mine safety and medical inspections and are equipped with the right technology. We also carry out individual risk assessments to ensure we comply with all mine regulations,” says Van der Horst.

“We’re thrilled to have one client recommend us to another,” he adds. “It’s the ultimate proof that if one looks after the customer properly the business looks after itself.”

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