The mettle of the mining industry faltered with the vulnerability of the global economy but there are some who still see opportunities in this industry and Digby Wells Environmental counts itself as one of them.
Digby Wells Environmental provides environmental and social services to the resource industry in Africa focusing over the entire life cycle of an operation from pre-exploration to post-closure monitoring.
On Thursday last week Digby Wells Environmental officially marked its presence in Botswana, an occasion which was acknowledged by the Minerals Resources, Green Technology and Energy Securities Minister Sadique Kebonang.
The multinational company’s entry into the local market was due to its acquisition of 80 percent of RPM, a local company with 18 years of operational presence in Botswana founded by Richard Arthey and his wife Christine. RPM retained 20 percent ownership in the new partnership. The merger came into effect on November 1, 2016.
In the new role as was explained by Arthey, RPM, which remains a separate entity to Digby Wells, will undertake project management in growing the business reporting to its major shareholder.
RPM changed its name to Digby Wells Environmental. Arthey shared that prior to the partnership RPM struggled to secure major contracts especially in the mining industry, but enthused that the new partnership introduced a wider skills base which will as a result push them to compete in the big league.
At the backdrop of the changing landscape in the mineral resources industry with recovery still lurking, Arthey expressed optimism that with change came opportunities which Digby Wells is poised to use.
He forecasted that with expected growth, Digby Wells would increase the current local staffing of seven people as well bolster income.
Graham Trusler, Digby Wells’ Chief Executive Officer (CEO) said that entry into Botswana was part of the geographical expansion goal but explained that what particularly lured the company to Botswana was the reception which the government of Botswana extended.
“Government reads report, comes back to you and gives feedback,” he said, commending Botswana as one of the best countries to establish a business in.
Trusler said that work in Botswana will not start with the new partnership and traced it back to the Mmamabula project, adding Tati Nickel, Orapa and Letlhakane mines to the list including work on the diversification drive in Selibe Phikwe.
A current project that Digby Wells is working on is environmental monitoring which includes ground and surface water, noise and air quality assessments on the Kazungula bridge project, which according to the onsite environmental control officer.
Nombini Mehlomakulu, Marketing and Business Development Director at Digby Wells Environmental said that the mining sector remains relevant with prospects of an upturn ahead, indicating the commitment of Digby Wells to the mining industry even through the current challenges it is contending with.