Adelaide Control Engineering (ACE) specialises in the design, manufacture, supply and project management of processing equipment for uranium mines.
ACE has been involved in developing equipment that processes uranium ore since 1999, when it completed work on the Beverley Mine in South Australia.
Through its modular design, ACE has been able to reduce the build time and requirement for skilled labour at remote sites by almost 50%, giving it a sustainable competitive advantage.
With an enviable reputation in what is a highly regulated industry, ACE also has its own research and development program, and works closely with other uranium companies, such as Areva of France and Cameco of Canada.
A new export contract
In 2013, ACE was approached by a South African subsidiary of AMEC, an international engineering consultant, and invited to tender for the design and development of processing equipment for a new uranium mine in Namibia
ACE’s relationship with AMEC dates back to its very first export project in 2006, with ACE’s strong relationship with AMEC helping it win this international tender.
This was a very important contract for ACE, as it had spent the previous 18 months refining its new modular design for the processing of equipment integral to the project.
A major challenge of the proposed contract involved ACE meeting stringent financial guarantees, which its bank was unable provide without additional security.
If these conditions couldn’t be met, the contract may have been lost to an international competitor
How we helped
Given our confidence in ACE’s technical capability to deliver the required equipment, we provided an advance payment bond for $1.59 million to BankSA.
BankSA then provided the advance payment guarantee to the project owners, which in tandem with company finances, was enough to satisfy the needs of the mine’s owners – Taurus Minerals and Epangelo Mining Company – and allow the contract to proceed.
As part of this transaction, we also worked with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the Minister for Trade and Investment, to reduce red tape and regulation that was hindering our ability to support this contract.
By taking the lead and working with other government departments, we helped ACE secure this $US11 million contract, which may have been lost to another country.