2013 was another exciting year for Core Consultants. We are happy to report that despite the macroeconomic conditions surrounding the mining industry, we were able to show strong growth from 2012.
Our projects included feasibility studies across a broad spectrum of commodities. These included coal, iron ore, fertilizers, ferrochrome and sulphur.
These projects also took place in a number of locations including Botswana, Sierra Leone and South Africa.
In addition to feasibility and market studies, Core Consultants engaged with their engineering clients in sourcing potential projects and opportunities. To date we have analysed markets in copper, gold and iron ore and assisted these engineering firms in finding those mining projects which fly under the radar.
On the event side, 2013 saw us participate in the SteelHome ferroalloy conference in Shanghai where we discussed the Chinese impact on South African chrome ore. We also presented at the Geoforum on the outlook for Minor Metals and in November we participated in the Junior Mining Conference where we discussed the key determinants of a good junior mining project.
We are always seeking to expand our service offerings to our clients and ensure that we approach every project with a view to adding and delivering value so that our clients are able to develop their businesses. A number of our clients indicated to us that whilst “off-the shelf” research is valuable, they would rather have a report that is tailored to their company’s specific needs on a regular basis. To this end, we have organised our commodity database so as to provide our clients with customised subscription reports.
This service was launched in January 2014 and already we are assisting a client with their carbon-based operations. Each quarter we are providing prices pertaining to their carbon products as well as freight charges for delivery to each of their respective clients. By supplying them with full market information on their products, they are able to negotiate their prices more effectively.
In the final quarter of 2013 Core Consultants teamed up with Railly & Hill, a company which specialises in metallurgical processing. This alliance enables Core Consultants to expand their service offering to include metallurgical testwork and process development. Railly & Hill’s alliance with the University of Leoben, Austria enables us to ensure that our clients receive the most cutting edge metallurgical advice available. The metallurgical facilities allow us to perform bench-to-pilot-scale testwork in pyro and hydrometallurgy.
2014 started with much excitement as we prepared for the African Mining Indaba which takes place in the first week of February. Lara Smith, Managing Director of Core Consultants will address Indaba delegates on the outlook for minor metals in Africa. The presentation considers those commodities that are important to Africa and which appear on the critical metals lists of both the EU and the US. The commodities to be discussed include dysprosium, tantalum and tungsten.
Overall we are looking forward to an exciting year ahead. The US and the EU have shown signs of recovery and there is renewed confidence in these markets. Banks, both in South Africa and abroad have cash to loan and we therefore expect that more projects will come on-stream compared to 2013.
We wish everybody a wonderful and prosperous year ahead and look forward to working with each of you over the course of 2014.