West Africa’s largest contractor, BCM Group, is pushing forward with its vision to become “the leading innovative and professional civil earthmoving and Open Cut Mining Contractor operating in Sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia.”
The company has a solid plan in place to achieve this ambitious goal through continued best practice and service to its existing client base as well as new entrants to the mining scene in Africa and Central Asia, while customising solutions for their mining extraction requirement.
Since it entered Ghana in 1990, the Group, which began life in the 1950’s in Australia as Bayswater Contracting, has enjoyed significant growth to the point where it now has 10 operating subsidiaries, and employs some 1,500 people, servicing clients in diverse locations.
Having operated in Africa for more than two decades, family-run BCM has earned a reputation as one of the most experienced and established mining contractors servicing the West African mining industry.
It has become recognised for its consistency in completing projects on-schedule and budget, working closely with clients through its mining and civil estimation department to ensure the customer’s specific project requirements are met within their financial constraints.
The Group’s wide-ranging specialities covers haulage of ore and waste, drilling and blasting environmental rehabilitation of waste, road survey and construction, concrete and earthworks, site clearing, water storage dam construction, plant hire, crushing and more.
In a technical sector where the value of experience and a proven track-record cannot be overstated, BCM considers its 20 years in Ghana key to its success. In this location it has worked extensively in local cultural and business practices, workforce management, local business relationships, tax and corporate compliance matters, banking relationships and other logistical practices.
It is vital experience that the Group has successfully transferred to other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa and the Central Asian region as it has established itself in both- the only western contractor to do so. BCM sees these as markets with huge potential, as dominant producers of the world’s minerals and precious metals, which will be important in driving further growth going forward.
Over the years, BCM has developed strong relationships with many key clients that are a major part of the international mining and engineering services companies operating in Africa today. With such customers as Anglogold Ashanti Limited, Ghana Australian Goldfields, Lycopodium, Semafo Holdings, Sabodala, Nevsun Resources and many more, it is clear that this is a company trusted by the industry’s major players. In Asia, the Group also works with Oxus Gold and Glencore/Kazzinc.
BCM’s services are particularly valuable to the smaller, under-capitalised mining companies, enabling them to develop mines faster and more economically with access to a skilled workforce and the best equipment without having to make huge investment. Conversely, the larger mining companies benefit from increased productivity and plant utilisation rates.
Current successful ongoing operations are widespread, taking place in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso & Niger. The company is also operating in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
The Group’soffering is enhanced by strong Logistic and Supply Chain Departments which work collaboratively to ensure all projects in West Africa and the CIS countries are constantly equipped with the necessary spare parts and mining consumables.
These departments are highly knowledgeable in the appropriate suppliers, transportation companies, customs regulations, warehousing, material handling, packaging and security, ensuring the timely delivery of all equipment, parts and consumables to all on-going projects.
The reliability afforded by this level of expertise and market knowledge is important to clients’ confidence in getting their projects completed on-schedule and part of the reason for their faith in BCM.
In Ghana, the company has a large central warehouse and component rebuild facility to support its West African Operations.
BCM has been rated as possessing the best rebuild facility and quality of work, a significant accolade in a field where rivals include large companies like Caterpillar and Komatsu.
Taking its cue from such companies, it also uses the most advanced and reliable construction equipment and technology to assist in getting the job done efficiently and to the highest standard.
Its ever-expanding list of plant and equipment is largely purchased outright, and on occasion supplemented by hired or leased equipment. Permanent equipment currently includes 35 excavators ranging from 25 tonne to 230 tonne; 23 motor graders; 22 wheel loaders; 20 Atlas Copco drill rigs; 11 rollers and compactors; 18 dozers; two scrapers; 12 water carts; 105 dump trucks ranging from 50 to 100 tonne and 24 tipper trucks.
It is a list that will continue to grow as the company inevitably wins ever more projects and expands its clientele.
The BCM Group workforce has been strengthened by the fact that the Group’s increasing visibility and reputation have in turn increased the numbers of people keen to work there. Therefore the company enjoys access to the most skilled and driven people in the industry.
Success breeds success, and furthermore, potential recruits know that once they make a career at BCM, they will receive quality in-house, on-the-job training to further develop their skills with a view to moving higher up the company’s ranks.
The Group’s workforce currently consists of 50 expatriate employees and over 600 national employees in Africa and 10 expatriate and over 100 national employees in Central Asia.
The excellent working environment has promoted long-termism and seen a good number of the core expatriate employees remaining at the company for many years, gaining broad experience of operational, technical and administrative levels, and ensuring consistency to complement the new blood.
The Group takes health and safety seriously and pursues a shared ‘Duty of Care’ policy with its staff as it strives to achieve an injury-free workplace. Senior management establishes a Safety Management Plan manual that meets the requirements of Local Regulations and puts in place measurable objectives and targets to ensure continual improvement aimed at the elimination of work related injuries and illness for each project.
BCM has additionally adopted South Africa’s NOSA safety management system across all its operations.
It also takes a proactive approach to environmental protection, developing a unique management plan specific to each area that is to be disturbed in order to minimise disruption during civil earthworks projects.
With responsibility underpinning a skilled, experienced workforce and quality equipment, there seems no reason why the BCM’s ambitious vision cannot become a reality.