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FUCHS Lubricants UK host a recent visit by FUCHS Poland colleagues with their customers and the Global Mining Chemist team.

they undergo crevice corrosion tests where the seal is put in one position and the hydraulics in another for a number of weeks without moving. Underneath the contact regions, where the elastomer touches the steel, there has to be no serious corrosion occurring. If you get pitting corrosion it can lead to hydraulic leakage and failure.

“It’s very vigorous, but we are successful in passing.

“Each coal mine has its own approval based on the tests we have done with the mine water from that particular mine. The mine water varies in quality tremendously. You can get very challenging waters with a very large amount of salts dissolved in them. Our challenge is to make a product suitable for the conditions.”

When it comes to surface mining, the focus for FUCHS is reliable engine, gear and transmission oils to stand up to the test of the huge trucks being used to clear the rocks after explosion.

Martyn said: “We have to keep developing our lubricants as the machines develop to meet the OEM specifications. As they get bigger and stronger, of course the demand on lubricants gets more severe.

“These are multi-million pound pieces of kit. With the cost of such equipment,


it’s exceptionally important you don’t take shortcuts. To have them lying idle is disastrous. Our customers want reliability. You have to have the confidence with the lubricant. FUCHS has been able to do that – and we’ve proved that we can do this more efficiently than the big oil companies.

“We’ll put specialised guys there on site – and the machines will be serviced by FUCHS technicians.”

Martyn predicts difficult years ahead for the mining industry due to the plummeting price of coal, climate control issues and the continuing decline in the steel industry.

Martyn said that longwall coal mining will continue to grow in some developing countries as Industrial growth requires the continued use of coal – but he said FUCHS’ main focus is growing the non-longwall mining side of the business, particularly in South Africa, where in 2014 FUCHS acquired Lubritene.

“This year will be tough for all mining activities,” he said. “Will coal mining continue? Yes, and it will expand in certain countries. We are continuing to develop and supply specialised products such as optimised coal froth flotation reagents for recovery of coal from mines. FUCHS has a specialist flotation facility in Poland with a dedicated laboratory, working with raw feed from the mines,

formulations comprising Frothers and Collectors can be optimised. Flotation reduces the % of Ash in the coal making a valuable fuel for energy production which would otherwise be lost as waste”.

“In places like China, coal mining will diminish because it has to reduce its emissions. Going forward our main aim is to grow the surface mining side of the business globally.

The demand for minerals will increase. We’re going more and more electric so there will be an increase in the need for copper, for example”.

And last but not least, Sustainability is a key strategy for the FUCHS Group. In a recent supplier evaluation programme published by EcoVadis for GlaxoSmithKline, FUCHS Lubricants UK were awarded a gold recognition level as one of the top 5% performers.

“There is huge potential for growth – worldwide there are still many opportunities for the team to pursue, and we’re delighted to be driving that forward from an area with such a rich mining heritage as Staffordshire.”



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