Nepean Mining: Trusted Name in High Value
Produced by James Hayes
For the mining industry to overcome its current state of turmoil it’s going to require many things. It’s going to entail improvements in practices and operational efficiency, it’s going to require commodity prices to rise, and it’s going to take more companies like Nepean Mining.
As Australia’s largest privately owned engineering, mining services and industry manufacturing organization, Nepean has assembled an army of applications for the mining sector. The company’s mining division, Nepean Mining, has earned a solid reputation for its capability to supply fully integrated turn-key mining systems. Through its four (4) specialist businesses, Nepean Mining is delivering high value, innovative and sustainable solutions to the world’s leading mining companies.
Nepean Mining offers an exquisite line of innovative and sustainable solutions for underground and surface mining equipment. The company has been recognized as one of Australia’s most successful suppliers of large scale, fully integrated, mining conveyor projects.
Since 1985, the company has supported Australian and South African based mines through its five core businesses: Conveyors, Longwall, Power and Gas. Along with being one of Australia’s largest supplier of integrated electro-mechanical bulk material handling solutions, Nepean provides custom engineered solutions for some of the largest miners in the world including Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group and BHP Billiton.
One of the main contributors to Nepean’s success is innovation. The company has accumulated a workforce comprised of knowledgeable and experienced engineers with proficiency in designing, manufacturing, installing, and commissioning machinery. With complete in-house capabilities, there’s not much Nepean can’t do.
“The reason we’re excelling is because we have a strong engineering department which allows us the ability to do all the designs and modeling ourselves,” says Rolf van Rooyen, managing director of Nepean Mining.
World Class Facilities
In addition to a vast product range, Nepean is accessible almost anywhere in the world. With a total of 10 facilities worldwide, including Australia, South Africa, and China, Nepean Mining has captured roughly 35-40 percent of the mining equipment market in its core market of eastern Australia by incorporating facilities close to its clients.
In early 2013, Nepean completed a significant expansion of one of its conveyor facilities in Wollongong, Australia. The new factory, which includes manufacturing operations such as fabrication, machining, assembly and quality assurance testing, continues to serve the company’s rapid expansion in NSW underground coalmines.
The facility also serves to showcase Nepean’s dedication to safety. The company recently achieved a milestone by reaching 1,000,000 man hours without a Lost Time Injury (LTI) in its Conveyors business and 700,000 in its Power business.
“I believe the key to our success is everyone in our organization understanding that they have a role to play in sustaining a zero harm environment. These milestones are a significant achievement and this is something that many companies aim for, but few achieve,” says Van Rooyen.
Van Rooyen admits in the past the company had an old-school approach to safety but since has adapted to stricter rules.
“You can see the difference in our safety record over the last five to seven years. If you manage safety correctly, it will change the culture of your company and be a positive flow on effect on your employees and customers.”
The increase in safety has been advantageous in more ways than one, strengthening the moral and company culture in the process.
“It’s amazing the impact implementing stricter and more efficient safety initiatives has had on moral and motivation among our employees,” says Van Rooyen. “We’ve seen an improvement in productivity and the quality of products.”
Supplier of value
Overall, Nepean is more than just a manufacturer of mining equipment; they’re solution providers. The company has integrated a unique approach to adding value for customers.
“Our engineers are a big part of the sales process,” says Van Rooyen. “They go to the customer’s site, listen to their questions and solve their problems. They’re an extended part of the customer’s operation.”
According to Van Rooyen, because engineers work closely with the sales team, their expertise and experience designing and manufacturing the equipment enables customers to better understand how it works.
“We can sell solutions right on the spot because our team knows what our customer’s needs are. In addition, the fact we have an in-house electrical solution provider adds significant value for our customers. We provide a consolidated system solution and essentially derisk the job for them right on the spot. It’s a huge advantage for us.”
To continue being a trusted partner with high value solutions, Nepean is looking to open offices in strategic locations to make buying and selling equipment more flexible for customers.
“We’ve been importing from China for six years and we’ve learned our lessons,” says Van Rooyen. “We now have the processes in place and the feedback from customers to really set ourselves apart from our competitors.”