Managing Fuel in Mining across Africa

It is reported that Africa consumes over 4,2 million barrels of oil per day, with 45% being consumed by Egypt, South Africa, and Nigeria. (Source). An estimated 630,000 barrels per day (15%) is consumed by the mining industry. This puts the mining industry’s daily requirement across Africa at over 100 million litres per day. With reported losses due to wastage, leakage and theft estimated at more than 12% (>12 million litres per day), it is reasonable to assume that the mining industry in Africa is losing ±$11,000,000 per day due to unsatisfactory fuel management practices. Efficient fuel management in the mining industry across Africa is a serious business.

Many of the fuel management challenges facing the mining industry in Africa are similar to the rest of the world. Numerous of these challenges are, however, unique to this continent.   

Like anywhere else in the world there are common challenges such as site differences, equipment variances, dissimilar vehicles as well as hardware and software compatibility challenges. There are circumstances which are unique to Africa. There are challenges include the remoteness of site locations which affects logistics, supply lines, access, and the availability of technical support. Further factors include connectivity and fuel quality.

The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that on average the fuel costs of a mine’s fleet account for up to 40% of the total operating cost. Long supply lines increase fuel theft incidents, which not only impacts profitability, but also limits a mine’s ability to compete in a volatile and demanding market. Quality of fuel too has a direct bearing on the efficiency and productivity of a mine. The quality of the fuel negatively affects the ability to measure accurately.

“There are many suppliers of fuel management systems, but few are really geared to deal with the challenges in Africa. Our experience has shown that systems that are designed for African conditions, by Africa-based companies, are far better suited to the local and regional environment”, says Johan Pienewald, CEO, Ressource Solutions.

“We have offices in Namibia, South Africa and Mauritius, as well as representation in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Zambia, DRC, Kenya, and Malaysia and Australia. Our footprint in Africa is ever growing having implemented over 150 projects and/or maintenance sites throughout the region, spanning from South Africa to Egypt”, concludes Pienewald.

Ressource Solutions has made it their purpose to develop world-class hydrocarbon management systems that are both cost-effective and user-friendly. As an OEM Ressource Solutions markets its unique fuel management solutions under the PetroMan® brand, providing meticulous, real-time, measuring, and reporting that allows clients to intricately control hydrocarbon quality and usage. Ressource Solutions continually develops and implements robust and up-to-date hardware and software platforms and has supplied FMS solutions to the mining sector, across Africa, since the 1990s.

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