Uninterrupted garnet supply keeps our customers' businesses running
Globally, the supply of garnet abrasives has been impacted since early 2017, due to an embargo on the export of garnet from India.
Prior to the embargo, India together with GMA were the major suppliers of garnet abrasives globally. Since then, GMA has remained the only supplier of significant volumes to the global market.Ramifications of the global shortage are being felt across all markets despite GMA growing its production volumes over the last year.
Fortunately, we have been able to maintain a constant supply of GMA Garnet™ to our customers as we fully control our supply chain from mine to customer.
We have multiple secure sources of garnet – our mines in Australia and the USA and our significant supply source from South Africa. We process these resources into finished products at our own processing facilities in Australia and the USA, which we then sell to our customers through our direct sales teams and distributor outlets across the globe.
We are also expanding our sources of supply further and investing in additional state of the art production facilities to meet the needs of the market.
We have significantly increase production volumes over the past year with some further growth coming on-line that will help alleviate supply constraints long term. These production increases are the result of planned investments which were already in development prior to the garnet supply shortage.
We will be adding another new processing plant to our operations in USA before the end of this year. The new garnet processing and recycling plant in Coos Bay, Oregon will provide GMA with additional production capacity - in excess of 100,000 metric tonnes per annum.
We are continuing to evaluate options for further expansion of our processing facilities to support our customers' needs and the broader market requirements.
However, building and operationalising new processing plants take time. Despite volume expansion projects already initiated and underway, we cannot accelerate our critical production timelines in the short term. This is due to our quality standards and commitment to not compromising the safety of our people.
We recognise that many of our customers did experience longer delivery times as we strived to meet the needs of our customers and the broader market over the past year.
Our response to this is to prioritise product allocations to our long-term customers and new customers where possible. We are focused on working collaboratively and finding the best possible solutions to keep their businesses in operation, and we are committed to supporting our existing long-term customers with continuous garnet supply. Where possible, the additional supply coming on-line is to meet new customers needs.
As the extensive range of projects to expand our supply capacity continue to progress, we have also addressed some of the major challenges we experienced last year. This has enabled us to move back to timely delivery and meet the growing needs of the market.
By Stephen Gobby, Perth