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INBYE – Finalising a Major Deal with Polish Manufacturer

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

INBYE Mining Services is on the cusp of finalising a major deal with Polish original equipment manufacturer ZZM-Kopex Group, which will see Inbye project itself into the major leagues as a longwall OEM and will give ZZM access to the “prestigious” Australian market and a springboard into China.
ZZM-Kopex originally signed a memorandum of understanding with Maitland-based Inbye in July this year. The deal, which Inbye managing director Richard Eveleigh says will be finalised within 10 days, will give Kopex a 50% share in Inbye for $A3.2 million.
“Australia is a very prestigious, important market for any mining equipment manufacturer,” ZZM-Kopex director Marek Mika told International Longwall News at AIMEX last week.
“If we are a global supplier we need to be in Australia to show other producers, such as those in China, that we can sell quality equipment into the prestigious Australian market.”
For Inbye, Eveleigh says the deal will give the company the backing it needs to continue to grow as an OEM.
“To grow and expand in Australia we needed a stronger capital base with a larger longwall focused partner,” he said.
“We grew as far as we could organically so we needed to restructure technically and financially to continue to develop into original equipment products.”
Eveleigh added that by joining together under one organisation, it strengthened both companies – a trend that has been evident with many suppliers of late.
While the deal gives Inbye the backing of a major global player and ability to offer a full longwall package to the Australian market, ZZM-Kopex will get access to Inbye’s AFC technology which it can market worldwide.
Before the MoU, Inbye already had a three-year relationship with ZZM-Kopex through its Tagor unit – a designer and producer of roof supports and belt and scraper conveyors. Last year Tagor secured a contract through Inbye for 150 complete roof support advancing systems for Xstrata Coal’s Oaky North mine in Queensland.
ZZM-Kopex was originally a state-owned company in Poland, but privatised post communism and was one of the first companies to list on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. In the years following privatisation, ZZM-Kopex was, and still is, extremely active acquiring companies – bringing Wamag, Famago, Shaft Construction, Tagor and Dozut all into one integrated group.
The acquisitions are all part of the company’s strategy to become a global player with a company philosophy of “greenfield to longwall”, according to Mika.
He says the company holds the expertise to bring a project from a greenfield development and not simply just to supply a longwall. The company’s expertise covers the spectrum of project management, mine planning, shaft sinking and longwall equipment.
ZZM-Kopex’s buy-in to Inbye is also part of the company’s Chinese strategy. From a logistics point of view a base out of Australia could improve communications and reduce shipping times from six weeks to 21 days.
The company has already experienced great success in China with a rash of orders over the past year. It secured a contract for five sets of roof supports (850 shields) to Shenhua subsidiary Ningxia.
In another deal with Shenhua it won a contract for 238 Tagor roof supports for a mine near Shendong City. The 400m longwall is a thin seam operation at 1.1-2.2m, with Tagor’s roof supports possessing an operating range of 1.5-2m.
ZZM-Kopex has also entered a joint venture in China with Xinwen Coal Group Taishan Jianneng Machinery of Xintai in the Shandong Province. On August 18 a manufacturing facility was opened with an initial production of 1200 shields per annum and targeted annual sales of €120 million.
The facility has been equipped according to Polish technology and with Polish quality inspectors and employs 900 workers.
The company has also found success in Russia, at the beginning of this year delivering 170 roof supports with an operating range of 2.4-5m to SUEK’s 7 November mine.
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