Austin Engineering has entered into an agreement with Mexico-based equipment manufacturer Melter to broaden its product delivery and service capabilities in the US and the northern region of South America.
This agreement has already delivered a significant new contract with a world-class miner, according to Austin, with Melter set to manufacture Austin-designed truck bodies for the initial supply of five lightweight Ultima bodies for Newmont’s Peñasquito gold operation in Mexico.
In addition to building truck bodies, Melter will also provide local support and maintenance assistance to Newmont, supported by Austin’s US-based teams in Casper, Wyoming.
“Newmont is the world’s largest gold miner and there is potential for further sales to this customer,” Austin said.
The Melter partnership is the latest iteration of Austin’s roll out of “hub-and-spoke” networks in the Americas to support Austin’s central US manufacturing hub in Casper.
Austin says it is establishing “spokes” closer to significant mining areas via new facilities or through partnerships and preferred supplier arrangements. The objective of this approach is to reduce the logistics cost and complexities of delivering truck bodies over large distances. As part of this strategy, in instances where transport costs are high, the Casper facility will provide designs and kits for local assembly to the end user facilities. This approach is intended to improve the competitiveness of Austin’s Casper facility and increase market share.
The hub-and-spoke initiative is part of an “advanced manufacturing strategy” being deployed by Austin following its strategic review of global operations completed in July, which identified several business optimisation and growth opportunities.
Austin’s Casper base has been further supported by the lease of a 23,000 sq.ft (2,137 sq.m) manufacturing site at Fort McMurray in Alberta from which Austin is able to better service its customers in the remote regions of western Canada though better product delivery logistics, shorter travel times, and local service and maintenance teams.
Austin CEO and Managing Director, David Singleton, said: “We are very pleased to have formed a partnership with Melter, which enables Austin to grow its service offering in a market where we don’t currently have manufacturing capabilities. Our partnership with Melter allows Austin to competitively deliver on its contract to supply Austin-designed truck bodies to Newmont’s Peñasquito operations and we look forward to growing our partnership in the future.
“We are continuing to review other potential spoke locations to support our Casper facility and delivering on our US strategy to improve our equipment delivery logistics and reduce overall transport costs, especially into remote areas, making our product offering more cost competitive.”
Melter Chief Executive Officer, Carlos Uribe, said: “We are pleased to develop our strong relationship with Austin Engineering, one of the leading OEMs in the global mining industry, as their regional supplier to build and support their truck bodies and other equipment on and off mine sites in Mexico including at Newmont.
“Over the last 30-plus years Melter has built a completely integrated manufacturing system for high-spec metal-mechanic components, as well as a highly committed and qualified 800 people strong team aimed at delivering the highest client satisfaction in the USMCA market; we are honoured to be able to use our capabilities to deliver Austin’s mining products both locally and potentially overseas.”