Swedish mining and infrastructure manufacturer Epiroc has announced a $14.7 million equipment order from La Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière (SNIM) in Mauritania- one of Africa’s largest iron ore producers.
The contract calls for a package of the company’s advanced Pit Viper 351 drill rigs fitted with AutoDrill and AutoLevel functionality to be put to work in the F’Derick mining site – known to contain some 30 million tons of high-quality iron ore. It also includes service supervision and spare parts to ensure the ongoing operation and maintenance of the rigs, cementing Epiroc and SNIM’s long-standing West African relationships and the former’s paramount standing as a mining equipment provisioner in the region.
Across West Africa, much of Epiroc’s success has been founded on this forward-facing responsible business approach- seeing it expand its operations with the establishment of new local chapters in the Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone and Senegal, achieving 20% workforce growth this year alone.
The company is pushing for gender equality from a 50% female talent pool and adopting a customer-centric approach with its local repositioning direction, having priorly consisted of three entities: Epiroc Mali covering Mali, Mauritania, Guinea, Senegal and the Ivory Coast, Epiroc Burkina Faso encompassing Burkina Faso, Niger, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo and Gabon, and Epiroc Ghana taking in Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Epiroc is leading the charge on a sustainability front, pushing for all equipment to employ a zero-emission battery-powered approach by 2025 for underground mining and 2030 for surface operations, whilst supporting an employee-led “Water for All” initiative these past 30 years, providing essential relief to water scarce areas worldwide- of which Mauritania, the Sahel and MSGBC basin are top targets.
This September, Mauritania and its neighbors will gather for the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Conference 2022– addressing not only the tremendous potential of the basin’s burgeoning energy industry but the intersectionality of this power boon- mining as a chief driver of demand and therefore primary beneficiary.
In Guinea-Bissau and Conakry, bauxite is a crucial GDP component- however this raw ore of aluminum increases its value sixfold if sufficient energy resources are present for in situ refining prior to export. Likewise, across Mauritania, Senegal and The Gambia, regionally significant reserves of gold, diamonds and iron ore are held in deposits only now being tapped, this high potential domestic industry set to follow in energy’s steps as a key economic driver.
In 2020, Mauritania spent $1.65 million on iron ore imports, largely from Turkey. Soon that flow might be reversed, and MSGBC 2022 is the platform where that future is written.