22 November 2023
When the US military encountered the problem of moving heavy vehicles and machinery through inhospitable environments, and even landing aircraft in remote locations, they developed a novel solution – mats.
It may not sound that innovative, after all, matting is already used at events like concerts to provide a solid flooring for attendees. But the matting, developed in conjunction with US Army Corp engineers, is nothing like the matting used for public events – it’s robust enough to drive thousands of tonnes of vehicles and machinery across, and is designed to withstand the most arid and challenging conditions.
Previously, the military had built expensive, time consuming, and environmentally damaging roads that cost almost as much to remove as to build. By comparison, this system of matting could be laid, removed and reused in even the most inaccessible areas.
The military has a strong history of developing new technologies, which have had crucial applications in civilian lives. They are credited with the invention of hundreds of items used every day by people and companies, from GPS to the EpiPen.
For mining companies, the uses for a robust matting system are obvious. Increasingly, they are being forced to make remote areas accessible to their machinery, as they search for resource reserves further and further afield, and where building roads isn’t viable or cost effective. Matting allows companies quick access, at a fraction of the financial and environmental cost of a road.
Since 2002, Sapex Group Limited, has been using the mats in Indonesia and in 2007 became the exclusive agent for Indonesia under a license and distribution agreement with the manufacturer, Newpark Resources Inc. (NR:NYSE). Their clients include household names like Chevron and Newcrest, who are utilising this cheap and efficient method in some of the most inaccessible regions of the world.
This matting system is a “here-and-now” solution to the problems mining companies face.
SAPEX are in the process of completing the purchase of PT SAS, increasing their mat inventory and earning capacity, bringing significant value and scale to their operations.
PT SAS has acted as the Indonesian agent for the DURA-BASE matting business since 2002 and has generated in excess of AU$20 million in revenue from the mats since 2015.