Six years after joining the Mineral Zone family as Sales Manager for the Foundry and Refractory division, Claude du Toit has now been appointed General Manager of the company. Mineral Zone is a specialist supply partner servicing the metallurgical and mining sectors in South Africa and internationally with a range of foundry consumables, metals and minerals, ore and services. The company was appointed last year as the sole agent and distributor for Aluminium Martigny France, a company that specialises in the treatment of non-ferrous metals with a focus on the design and production of foundry fluxes, die-coatings and lubricants for the treatment of non-ferrous metals and develops its own range of machinery and equipment. Mineral Zone had not previously been a supplier to the non-ferrous industries.
When Mineral Zone was established in 2014 the company initially emerged trading on the world stage servicing the metallurgical and mining sectors with a range of metals and minerals, ore and services.
At first the company offered the industry foundry chrome sand, chrome ore, metallurgical chrome concentrate of all grades, chemical grade chrome concentrate, ferro alloys, recarburiser, ferro silicon magnesium, inoculants, zinc and specialised refractories, sourced both locally and from abroad.
Claude du Toit (right) the new General Manager at Mineral Zone with partners and founders of Mineral Zone Adrian Pearson and Brendan Homann
Subsequent growth and expansion saw the company appointed as a distributor for what is now known as ASK Chemicals, an internationally recognised company and manufacturer of foundry chemicals, coatings, resins and solvents, in 2016.
That same year Mineral Zone was appointed distributors for Capital Refractories Limited, a company that manufactures a wide range of dry vibration rammable products for lining coreless induction furnaces, vacuum coreless induction furnaces and channel induction furnaces for the melting of steel and high temperature alloys, iron, copper, bronze, aluminium and master alloys.
These products are complemented with a full range of ancillary products, including topping, monolithic linings for low and high temperature purposes, repair and patching materials, ladle castables and heat treatment furnace materials for ferrous and non-ferrous applications and installation equipment, monolithic linings for induction furnaces covering all grades of ferrous and non-ferrous metal production, specialised cements for the aluminium industry specific to all sizes of reverberatory and rotary furnaces, lining patching paste, graphite stopper rods and porous plugs.
Capital Refractories pioneered the use of the permeable gas diffuser for use in the coreless induction furnace; this allows Argon to be purged directly from the base of the furnace into the molten metal prior to casting. Benefits include reduction of inclusions, gas holes, cleaner metal and improvements in refractory life.
The company would later increase its product portfolio by adding products from Swedish manufacturer LKAB Mineral. The range of refractory materials includes virgin alumino-silicate and magnesia refractory minerals, as well as a range of recycled alumina and magnesia based aggregates, utilised in monolithic refractory products for a number of applications, alumina, magnesia and chrome alumina materials, bauxite, calcined kaolin, fused alumina (brown and white), cement (CA50 – G7, G6, G9), cement CA70, mulcoa, mullite, refractory grade magnesite, DB magnesite and chamotte.
LKAB Minerals offer a number of products for the foundry industry. The product portfolio ranges from core and mould sands to binders and core additives. In addition LKAB Minerals supplies a range of both naturally occurring sodium and activated calcium bentonite raw materials, and these can be supplied pre-blended with carefully selected and pre-graded coal and lustrous carbon producing materials in order to meet the needs of individual customer requirements.
In 2020 Mineral Zone was awarded ISO 9001:2015 by TÜV Rhineland and then in early 2021, despite Covid, the company took a big step forward by moving into its own warehouse and office factory that is distinctly tinged with a modern stylish design – a space that combines contemporary aesthetics with industrial charm. Mineral Zone’s new 1 400m² office and factory warehousing facility is located in a factory complex in Dunswart, Boksburg, Gauteng.
Claude du Toit has an extensive and successful track record in the South African foundry industry, dating back to 1992 when he joined Resistant Materials Services. He worked in various roles at the company, including managing the Thermofab division, before joining Mineral Zone in 2016.
“My career in the foundry industry has been a vast journey of new challenges and learning experiences. Through the company’s established relationships, we have developed partnerships with principles around the globe trusting us with their brands to penetrate the South African market, servicing the metallurgical and mining sectors. This has resulted in us being appointed as a preferred foundry distributor for ASK Chemicals’ foundry products, Capital Refractories Limited’s refractory products for metal melters and foundries, LKAB Minerals’ iron ore and the refractory mineral products and the refractory products produced by Norwegian company Elkem.”
“We now have a comprehensive range of products that we are marketing. This is an exciting period in Mineral Zones’ history in that we have concentrated on supplying various industries from minerals to refractories, paints, plastics and metals supplying the industry from mine to furnace and from source to customer. We are also very strong in supplying foundry consumables, ores, metals, minerals and metallurgical services. Now that we have entered into the non-ferrous industry, we now have product to supply the non-ferrous foundries or for primary or secondary smelters.”
“In total we have 500 products that we market and over 200 of these are aimed at the foundry industry.”
“Currently we are importing from eight countries, all of which are products that cannot be sourced locally. But we do export to 22 countries including South America, the UK, Europe, the Far East, the Middle East and Africa.”
For further details contact Mineral Zone on TEL: 010 599 2442 or visit www.mineralzonesa.com