Steel drums for Erongo mining
Yellow Drum was born when Pine van Wyk, Hans Botha and Robert de Villiers realised there was a gap in the market. As a result of their first conversation and subsequently many more, the three decided to take the plunge, and Yellow Drum Manufacturing was established.
When the company needed to expand, it approached the Development Bank for finance. As soon as the loan was approved the partners bought equipment to make lid rings for the drums used by uranium mines, and to acquire additional raw material.
“We manufacture 210 litre steel drums. primarily used for industrial storage and transport purposes. We have closed lid and removable lid drums. We specialise in the manufacture of drums for the uranium, petroleum and paint industries but, depending on the quantity ordered, we can manufacture drums to our clients’ specific requirements. Our drums also have SABS approval,” explains de Villiers, Group Financial Director of Yellow Drum. “Apart from serving the uranium mining sector, [we] have also set [our] sights on the chemical industries, and any other sectors needing bulk storage solutions, locally and internationally.”
Initially there were challenges. The land was not surveyed and work permits, for contractors to commission the plant, were delayed. The drums had to be of a high enough quality to transport uranium, and testing for quality certification took almost a full year.
The plant was able to begin manufacturing in Arandis in November 2011.
Yellow Drum currently employs 13 people, all Namibians, and this number will soon grow to 40. “Within the foreseeable future, we want to start supplying SADC countries as well, which will enable us to employ around 200 people in the factory. For that, we need to increase stock and will have to build a material store of 1200 sq.m as well.
Says Martin Inkumbi, Acting CEO of the Development Bank “We understand the implications of primary resource dependency, and are seeking ways to develop secondary and tertiary industry around Namibian resources. Mining and the developing industrial complex are a key underpinning for Namibia’s future, so enterprises like Yellow Drum are of interest to us, and we encourage other enterprises in the mining and manufacturing supply chain, to approach us with their business plans, be they start-ups or existing organisations seeking to expand.”