Mining is an integral part of the Australian economy, accounting for about 10 per cent of the nation’s GDP. As of 2015, we have 420 mining operations in place, extracting coal, gold, copper, nickel, zinc, bauxite and opal. It is big business and there are a lot of mining machinery providers out there vying for your business.
If you are responsible for choosing a mining machinery supplier, the choices available to you may seem overwhelming. To help you with your decision, we have created 6 questions that you should ask. By answering them, you will be able to reduce your search to a few providers that meet the needs of your company and your mining operation.
1. What are your equipment wants/needs?
Before looking for providers, it is important to work out what equipment you need. Let us say you are looking for underground and tunnelling equipment – it is best to find companies that specialise in this type of machinery.
Mining operations use complex machinery. Despite there are extremely skilled professions on site (i.e. engineers), companies do not always pick equipment that is most suitable for their operations. As a result, problems may arise that could potentially lead to delays and increased operation costs. A quality provider can help you avoid these issues by providing reliable and safe equipment. They should also be able to tell you what brands are best for the job.
2. What is their customer service like?
While customer service is not necessarily an indication of overall quality, it can tell you a lot about the company in terms of their professional conduct. Do not be afraid to contact a company directly to ask them questions. From the answers, you should be able to ascertain what they are like to work with and what their level of expertise is.
3. Do they have a good reputation?
Reputation, reputation, reputation! Oh, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial – CASSIO.
As it was in Shakespeare’s Othello, reputation is important when it comes to mining machine providers. You want to select a company that has been in the industry for years and has developed a reputation for being trust worthy and providing a great service.
4. Do they have a system for quality control in place?
Does the potential provider pass this quick checklist? The answer to the follow questions should be a resounding YES.
A) Do they rigorously test equipment before hiring or selling?
B) Do they offer a maintenance schedule with their machinery (applicable if hiring)?
C) Do they provide quality parts for their equipment?
5. What is your budget?
As with any facet of mining operation, budget is an essential component. Working out how much you can spend will help you work out what equipment is in your price range. If your budget is limited, it may be tempting to go with the cheapest provider, however this is not recommended, because cheaper, inferior products can cause problems further down the line that can affect production (and hurt your bottom line).
As well as the initial costs of the machinery, you also have to take into account the ongoing costs of maintaining and repairing the equipment.
6. Do you want to hire or buy the equipment?
There are benefits to both hiring and buying the equipment. What is right for you is largely dependent on the answer you gave on ‘what is your budget’.
For a more comprehensive understanding of this question, please read the article To hire or not to hire? A comparison between hiring and buying.
Finding mining equipment that is suitable for your project but falls within the allocated budget can be a fine balancing act. If you are overseeing a mining operation, you can make this process easier by finding a company that meets your needs. The questions in this article have been designed assist you with finding a mining service provider.
If you realise you need a quality hire company, contact the experienced team at Minspares who can help you with any enquires.