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FLSmidth to expand shaft and hoist systems business

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FLSmidth has implemented a seven year plan to expand shaft and hoist systems business organically.

Speaking to International Mining, the mining equipment and technology company said it has plans to "see its mine shaft systems business grow organically, fill gaps in the market and build the necessary skills and experience to become a one source solution in the mine shaft business worldwide".

It will focus on mine hoisting and mine shaft equipment technology.

It comes after the company formally merged its mine shaft businesses in South Africa and Canada in 2012 to form a single, mine shaft systems dedicated unit.

"Since mine shaft systems was established as a business entity last year, we’ve started to see growth in our market share within our traditional market strongholds in North America and sub-Saharan Africa which is directly attributable to the cross selling of existing products by a dedicated team," FLSmidth sales manager for mine shaft systems Wendy Norman told International Mining.

" While FLSmidth will never be a shaft sinker or a shaft equipper, we have every intention of growing our product lines to offer more of the infrastructure around the shaft. We believe there is major opportunity to grow in these areas worldwide," she said.

"The real benefit is that we’re bringing a lot of engineering skills together to offer our customers a holistic solution.

“For shaft systems to work really effectively, a combination of the right components are needed — electric motors, mechanical hoists, conveyances, loading and discharge arrangements, and so on. Outside of rope selection, our team is able to check and verify the entire vertical transport system, making sure all elements are well coordinated. Another benefit is that from an aftermarket point of view, we offer routine hoist inspection services. With this safety-critical equipment, such inspections are essential, but owing to the skills shortage the number of mine personnel capable of doing this is dwindling.”

The company recorded a difficult 2013, with much lower than expected forecasts forcing it to cut around 7% of its workforce, of 1100 jobs.

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