TRANSPORT IN MINING INTERVIEW: “Bolloré Transport & Logistics is Africa’s largest private sector employer”

1.    Let’s start with some background about your organisation and the services that you provide in the mining sector. What is your role there?
Bolloré Transport & Logistics sa is the leading logistics provider for Africa. We operate in 45 countries across the continent and employ 25,000 people, making us Africa’s largest private sector employer. Our presence in DRC and Katanga dates back to 1953, being one the oldest Congolese company, when we started out shipping commodities out from the mines. Today, we have 280 people working for us throughout our provincial offices at Lubumbashi, Kolwezi, Kasumbalesa, Likasi, Tenke, Sakania and Mbuji-Mayi. We operate a 20,000-square meter bonded warehouse and free practice warehouses to store already cleared goods. Our newest facility at Kasumbalesa was be inaugurated in May 2015. It is the first office that you see when you cross into the DRC from Zambia.
Our involvement with mining industry is extensive; we work with almost all of the major players here. We are the majority clearing agents for a major mining company in the province. This includes everything from the export of their finished products to the import of equipment and consumables. Aside from this, we have many Chinese clients and have two full-time Chinese liaison officers to facilitate our relationship with these customers.

2.    What projects in the mining industry that you are involved in are you particularly excited about?
As mentioned above, we are involved in most of the main projects in the region and we are excited about all of them.

But off course our involvement in the development of new projects is always something special.  Starting from scratch and building something new.

Working also to improve existing corridors and working on alternative solutions is particularly exciting.

Our goal is to make investments possible and successful in DRC.

3.    What in your view are the main challenges to the mining industry currently?
The main challenges will continue to be the lack of energy, infrastructures and negotiation around the new Mining Code.

Capitalising projects is also a challenge but with current commodity rates, the time is right for investment.

Another very important challenge is to make sure that all stakeholders, including local populations.

4.    How is the energy industry affecting the mining industry?
As said earlier, this will continue to be a struggle.  Energy is critical for the different production plants so stable electricity is of capital importance.

5.    What is your vision for the DRC’s mining industry ?
The future if DRC mining industry is bright, important to continue to attack foreign direct investment by reforming legal architecture. The demand of raw materials on a long term perspective should continue to increase. It will be important to develop infrastructures, new corridors to improve the competitiveness of Congolese product, coming from landlocked areas. Energy will be a key component of the development of the mining industry.

6.    What will be your message at DRC Mining Week this year?
Our message is that we are present in DRC to welcome new investors and to show what we have already achieved in DRC, to show what Bolloré Transport & Logistics has built highest quality of service and state of art procedures, ISO 9001 certification.

7.    What are you most looking forward to at the event?
We are hoping to explore lots of new opportunities with local and foreign companies.  But off course we hope to see our existing clients in a different environment and discuss how we can develop further or just strengthen our ties with each other.

8.    Anything else you would like to add?
Just to thank you the make the event possible. It helps to give to visitors and possible investors a real view of DRC Mining environment.