Thursday, 4 February 2016


There has always been a lot of movement in the resources sector but recently most of the movement has been relentlessly in the wrong direction, with a slowdown in demand for most commodities. In Australia and elsewhere, this has been reflected in lower output, a number of mine closures and reductions in contracts for mining services companies.

However, with hundreds of millions of dollars in equipment and infrastructure lying idle, shareholders and other stakeholders are entitled to wonder what is being done to ensure that these valuable assets are still viable when the market recovers. Fluctuations in demand have always been part and parcel of the world economy and wise heads will want to protect their investment in times of hardship, in order that they may better profit when the sun shines once more.

Mining companies are not the only stakeholders in the resources sector. Across Australia, service companies and suppliers have seen severe reductions in their order books and, while it is clear that not all will survive, it is most important for the future of the industry that sufficient capacity and expertise is retained to provide the foundations for future growth.

So, if this is true, what can you or I do about it? 

We believe that there is something that can be done, something that can benefit investors, and producers as well as providing a lifeline for service companies - with major potential benefits and very low risk. 

It has been shown that companies that plan for reductions in output, that maintain their plant and preserve their assets, are far more likely to emerge from a recession in good shape than companies that are only interested in the short term. And, if a company is going to take a loss anyway, how much better to invest it in the future than walk away and lose it all? While it may be too late for some, those companies that remain would do well to look at cost-effective ways of maintaining the reliability and integrity of their assets as well as the surrounding infrastructure, the service companies and the cities that depend on them.

Recently, we have been discussing this potential with some of our customers and business partners, not just because we might benefit through sales of our products but also because of the enormous waste that would result if short-term losses were all that dictated the financial policies of the resources sector. As a result, we are working with our colleagues to create awareness of the cost-effectiveness of standby protection, mothballing and many other practises that can preserve our productive capacity during periods of low activity. It might be good for us, but it would definitely be better for everybody else.

As part of this programme, we have published some articles and information in the Australian press, in the latest (February) edition of Australian Mining Review there is an article on page eight and further information on page 41 and, later this month, we will be featuring in the Australian Energy Review - we'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016


The Maori name for New Zealand is Aotearoa, 'the land of the long white cloud' ... an evocative name for a beautiful country. However, clouds don’t stay white for ever and where there are clouds, rain will surely follow. For a salt mine, rain can be a problem, as you can see in the picture on the right.

The perfect corrosion recipe

Take several tonnes of salt, sprinkle with rain and liberally apply to a steel surface. There's no need for an oven, the steel will brown perfectly ... with a crisp, flaky coating of rust. It's a familiar story for the operators of this salt mine in New Zealand - they can see it wherever they look and have tried many solutions. 

But corrosion is not their only problem, salt gets into everything and causes major problems in operating machinery, contaminating bearings and severely shortening the lifespan of conveyor systems that are vital to keep the salt moving. So, when the company heard of Enviropeel and its ability to provide both ingress and corrosion protection, they were eager to see what it could do.

What goes around comes around

In New Zealand, IMG (Integrated Maintenance Group) have long been the 'go to' place for innovative asset management solutions and have been Enviropeel enthusiasts for many years. A former employee of IMG had taken over operational management of the mining site and knew that Enviropeel was a perfect answer to many of their problems and brought IMG in to help. It was decided that the best way to proceed was to provide some on-site training with applications on a variety of substrates to familiarise the company with the use and potential of Enviropeel. As well as applications to prevent ingress on bearings, areas of the main steel structure were also chosen for protection. As the pictures show, heavy exfoliating rust was present on older parts of the structure and in some areas new steel infrastructure had been installed. After some equipment and application demonstrations, both new and old areas were chosen for protection. The old areas were prepared to remove the loose and flaking rust prior to application. With training and application completed, Enviropeel is expected to be deployed across the site, greatly reducing the threat from corrosion.