John Martin, Vice President of Southern Africa,

KAL TIRE

"Our innovative re-treading and repair solutions can extend the life and performance of tires, generate savings, and keep tires out of the waste stream, which is a tremendous environmental benefit."

What is Kal Tire’s history in Southern Africa?

Kal Tire originated in Canada in 1953 providing tire-related services to road construction projects. The company expanded its offering to mining and today has a significant retail, commercial and mining footprint across Canada, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Australia. The company’s presence in Africa started more than a decade ago. In 2017, Kal Tire acquired Tyre Corporation in South Africa, becoming the largest and most diversified tire services company on the African continent.

Mining represents more than 90% of our African business, with a primary focus on surface mining in West Africa and both underground and surface mining in Southern Africa.

From our Johannesburg office, we serve the Southern African region, while the West African region is served from our offices in the UK.

How are your solutions tailored to the mines’ needs?

We are a multi-brand dealer and align ourselves with tier 1, tier 2, and tier 3 manufacturers. We approach the market with our supply partners to jointly develop and grow the selected brands, ensuring that these brands ultimately add the needed operational value to the customer. For the South African market, we have exclusive access to several products, both for surface and underground mining, which work exceptionally well and can add value to the client.

Can you elaborate on Kal Tire’s GAS and TOMS systems and how they add value to the company’s offering?

Our innovative Tire Operation Management System, TOMS, is the most advanced management system for tires and positively impacts productivity, tire life and safety. Focused on fleet productivity and accessible, near-live reports, TOMS gives the visibility for planned and predictive maintenance and thus enables informed, real-time decisions. With instant, visual communication between the entire fleet planning team, more tire work can be performed while trucks are already down for maintenance.

Our award-winning Gravity Assist System (GAS) supports the weight of heavy tools to reduce safety risks, such as fatigue and muscle strain, for technicians. This system is an excellent example of Kal Tire’s philosophy towards innovation for enhancing safety, reducing risk and improving productivity.

How does Kal Tire help mining companies to fulfil their sustainability goals?

Kal Tire has invested in the development of solutions that help customers fulfil their sustainability commitments. We have always been focused on the complete life of the tire and we therefore always emphasize the need for solutions such as recycling, re-treading and repairs. We not only help mines extend tire life, but also help solve the great challenge of recycling scrap tires. We are the only company globally with a thermal conversion facility that delivers a revolutionary approach to recycling large mining tires – decomposing organic material with heat, in the absence of oxygen, converting tires back into their original components of fuel oil, carbon black, and steel. The facility can recycle 20 tons daily, with 40% of the weight of the scrap tires having the potential to be used as alternative fuels. Our innovative re-treading and repair solutions can extend the life and performance of tires, generate savings, and keep tires out of the waste stream, which is a tremendous environmental benefit.

What are the challenges of operating in Southern Africa?

The biggest challenge we face in most African countries is corruption. We are encouraged by the progress South Africa is making in this regard, and we hope that we will soon have better control over both corruption and crime in South Africa. It is extremely difficult to grow in this market with such low levels of foreign investment due to the associated political risk. Countries like Botswana and the DRC consistently attract more capital investment into their mining sectors than South Africa does. Although significant opportunities remain in South Africa and the region, there are some significant hurdles that we need to get past to be enable growth and development and to attract that much needed foreign investment.

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