Swiss company to benefit from Perth mines with new steel mesh facility

Swiss company Geobrugg AG has established a manufacturing plant in Perth for the supply of steel wire mesh to the local mining and civil engineering industries.

Geobrugg general manager for Australia, Roland Bucher, said the strength and corrosion-resistant properties of the company’s range of high-tensile wire mesh products (DELTAX, TECCO and SPIDER) make them ideal for the tough environmental conditions of open cut mines in remote locations.

“A good example is the massive mine remediation project on Koolan Island, which incorporates what is believed to be one of the largest rockfall mesh drape mining applications in the world,” he said.

The Malaga-based facility has reportedly doubled its manufacturing output of high tensile steel wire mesh for geo-hazard solutions and security engineering since its launch in September 2011.

Its success was reportedly made possible due to the installation of a second specialised Geobrugg-designed production machine in April this year.

The 1,000sqm production area reportedly provides the potential to install two further machines to meet growing demand.

The company’s decision to build the plant was reportedly prompted by the need to reduce lead times to Australian clients, who have previously had to wait up to 12 weeks for mesh to be shipped from Europe.

“Our TECCO high-tensile steel wire mesh is rapidly becoming a protection material of choice for the mining industry here in Australia, and we recognised the need to be able to respond quickly to urgent orders,” said Bucher.

“We now hold local stocks in Perth, enabling us to turn orders around on a 24 hour basis, and we also have the capacity to respond in just a few days to requests for non-standard TECCO mesh lengths and widths.”

The Swiss company’s local operation, which has been active in Australia for nearly four years, now supplies 85% of its products to the local mining industry, and the rest to civil engineering products, said Bucher.

Many companies are opening manufacturing plants in Australia to supply technology to the mining and resources industries.

In April this year, Sandvik Mining opened a $50 million Hunter Valley Site facility for the manufacture, assembly and support of surface and underground coal equipment.

The site covers over 16 hectares, with a four hectare expansion area for the future, and is one of Sandvik's largest manufacturing, assembly, and distribution centres in the world.

This month, bearings, seals and mechatronics supplier SKF opened a new factory in Perth due to its close proximity to the mining industry.

The factory will be used for remanufacturing and customisation services, application engineering, lubrication applications, mechanical services, technical support and training.