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Uretech, HMA Group in venture to establish an African presence
30 March 2017
Uretech, HMA Group in venture to establish an African presence

Uretech, a local manufacturer of polyurethane products such as wear liners for the mining industry, has entered into an agreement with the HMA Group of Australia to have its product range distributed internationally. In turn, the HMA Group’s wide product range will now be made available in Africa for the first time.

The agreement, concluded towards the end of 2016, will see the establishment of a new South African subsidiary of the HMA Group, known as HMA South Africa, with George Hoffmann as General Manager. In terms of the agreement, HMA has been appointed as Uretech’s sole international distributor, including South Africa.

Established in 1966 as Halley & Mellowes, the HMA Group manufactures, services, and sells a range of capital plant equipment to diverse industries. The materials handling, wear solutions, instrumentation, and geotechnical divisions of the group will be introduced into the local market, piggybacking on Uretech’s representation in the African mining industry.

“Uretech has always been on the lookout for an international partner since we were established in 2004,” Hoffmann comments. The OEM, with its manufacturing facility in eMalahleni, has established itself as a niche market leader in Africa.

“There is a lot of synergy for both parties in terms of the agreement, as it gives the HMA Group automatic traction in the African market, while Uretech achieves global recognition. With regard to the latter, we have already received our first export orders from Australia,” Hoffmann reveals.

He has worked closely with Tony Rogers, Managing Director of the HMA Group Australasia, in bedding down the deal. “It has been an absolute pleasure in dealing with the HMA Group, as it is very progressive and dynamic in terms of acquiring and distributing new technologies globally,” Hoffmann explains.

The agreement also gives the HMA Group a toehold in the infrastructure development of Africa, where there is a vast need for rail, road and port links to maximise the pit-to-port potential of the continent’s mineral wealth.

For example, the materials handling division of the HMA Group is a leading global supplier of bulk materials loading systems in the Australasian region, with a specific focus on coal, iron ore, gravel, and sand. These can all be loaded in bulk using a variety of design and operating systems. Loading systems are available for truck applications, including over-sized and multiple wagons, and train applications for flood or volumetric loading, single or multiple batch weighed loading, and automatic or manual operation.

“It is this kind of innovative technology that the HMA Group South Africa will introduce into the African mining industry,” Hoffmann highlights. He adds that local agencies have already been secured for four leading Australian instrumentation product ranges.

Commenting on the current state of the mining industry, Hoffmann says it is an ideal time for the HMA Group to enter the African market, as prices are on the rise, indicating that the protracted slump in the commodity super-cycle has bottomed out.

“I think it is a very interesting time for both Uretech and the HMA Group in terms of their future development. The latter has largely been focused on the Australasian region, with another office in Indonesia, and this represents its first foray into a major new territory. We look forward to expanding that relationship, and introducing our customers to the very best technology from the Australian mining industry, which faces many similar challenges and operating conditions as in Africa,” Hoffmann concludes.

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