Drilling for profit

The government of Ras Al Khaimah has been mining for around forty years. Earlier this year it formed a new company with the aim of using local experience to mine abroad. We dropped in on RMMI Managing Director Madhu Koneru to find out about the technology and plant involved in such an operation.

The head of a new company in RAK is drawing on the region's mining experience.
The head of a new company in RAK is drawing on the region's mining experience.

The government of Ras Al Khaimah has been mining for around forty years. Earlier this year it formed a new company with the aim of using local experience to mine abroad. We dropped in on RMMI Managing Director Madhu Koneru to find out about the technology and plant involved in such an operation.

Where are you mining, and for what minerals?

We've got some copper and cobalt in Congo. We've got some clay in Indonesia, which is used by RAK Ceramics for the clay manufacturing.

Also, mining in Thailand, which again is used for ceramic tiles. We have just opened some mines in Armenia which is for copper again.

We are looking at some resources in Indonesia which helps us finalise something we are doing this year.

What particular items are you finding in short supply at the moment?

All the processing equipment you can find the resources and you can find a market for it but then .you need machinery for that. The machines are made of steel. To make steel you need energy, which comes back to resources.

What sort of processing machinery have you been buying?

Crushers, Conveyer belts to transport the product into hoppers. It's all (the mechanical components).

Where do you buy from?

It is mixed. The equipment in Congo, for example, has come from Finland and we have got some crushers that came from China.


We have bought some conveyer belts from India.

Do your plants use process control?

Yes we do apply process control because that is where we like to bring in our efficiency levels in. In the Congo, one company that we acquired which was doing about 190 tonnes per month, although plant capacity was about 400 tonnes.

So we made the changes to the machinery and we have increased the output to more than 300 tonnes.

Do you have any thoughts on the current state of the minerals market?

Most important is bringing in the product on time. We believe in long term pricing structure so sometimes when this up and down happens month on month... Mining deals can take six-twelve months to close as you do resource checking so that is the effect we have. But we know everything that goes up has to come down.

Do you find logistics difficult in far-flung places like the Congo?

No, not really. Mining problems are not different from Congo to India or Australia anywhere else. As long as you get local people involved and breed entrepreneurship.

In whichever country we operate we give it out to local transporters, so they buy the trucks. In every country we go to, we give the local truck company the business.

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