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November / December 2016
Sawmilling South Africa News
We unfortunately started November with the sad news of Stan Chapmans passing. Once again another “big” tree has been felled in our sector. Stan will be remembered by many in the sawmilling industry for his significant contributions to the establishment and lay out of  many sawmills in South Africa. To Stan’s family we say “the sawmilling industry will have you in our thoughts and may god bless you all”
November saw SSA traveling around to each of the regions in SA with the annual information sessions. This year we concentrated on the importance of diligent kiln management and had with us Dr Peter Stohr who made a presentation aimed at mill management on the importance of correct drying on sawmill profitability. We also had the usual presentations by Roy Southey and Mandy Allpass, and for the many sawmillers who attended the respective days in each region, I'm sure I speak for you all when I say that real value was added to each of your businesses.
By now you will all be aware that the Government is debating a national minimum wage at NEDLAC and the proposal on the table is currently at R 3500.00 per month. Needless to say there will still be significant discussion on this contentious topic and the best we can hope for is that a “National” wage will take regional differences and rural situation into account. If this is not slipped through over the festive season, 2017 will prove to be an important milestone to all of South Africa.
News from the market place is that structural sawn lumber volumes are still moving in increased amounts and that most millers are happier with the values. The same cannot be said however for the industrial side of the market where despite the fact that volume demand is quite buoyant values still do not reflect the necessary upward trend. 
News from the Forestry Council is that the current CEO Mr Simangaliso Nkhwanazi has resigned and Mrs Khosi Mavimbela will acting until a new CEO is appointed, probably only in the New year. The new and revised codes of good practice for the forest sector are expected to be Gazetted either this week or next so we suggest you keep a look out for these as they will play a significant role in the new year.
All that remains is for us here at SSA to wish you all a safe and blessed festive season and we look forward to talking to you all once again in 2017 and remember to drive safely, relax more, party hard and drink less. You can forget about cutting straight and drying flat for the next few weeks.

Roy Southey
Executive Director: Sawmilling South Africa
Feature article
Zambian mine improves profits sustainably

A mining company in Zambia uses Wood-Mizer sawmills to demonstrate how mining can increase profitability while promoting environmental sustainability and economic development.
y: Etienne Nagel

Primary log breakdown is done with a pair of LT20B sawmills.

In terms of its natural and mineral resources, Africa is the richest continent in the world. This wealth of resources can serve as an engine for growth and development of Africa’s economy and its people.
First Quantum Minerals’ (FQM) mining operation in Kalumbila, Zambia showcases how the mining sector can stimulate economic development, and promote environmental sustainability in Africa and the world. FQM’s project is managed by the company’s subsidiary Kalumbila Minerals Limited (KML) and includes copper and nickel mining activities in the country’s North-West province.
KML is truly leading the way in showcasing how mining companies can contribute to local economic growth while responsibly caring for local natural resources.
People matter
Garth Lappeman, KML’s Foundation Manager, shares that the company has emphasized the employment of local people - “our Timber Recovery Project trained and currently employs 70 local people, and only 9 skilled Zambians from other provinces had to be hired to train up the employees from local communities” he shares.
The additional employment at KML has strengthened weak local economies. A small-scale subsistence farmer growing cassava and maize on a three hectare plot is an example of this. Before finding work at KML, the farmer was barely able to support his family, only producing 50 bags of cassava and maize annually.
Now, with the income from his new job, the farmer has had the means to expand his farming activities. He has hired five workers, who now grow his crops, raising his production to 75 bags per crop without fertilizer. The extra income has also been invested in 5500 bricks for a new, 5-roomed house for his family.
The farmer also benefits from KML’s conservation farming skills training program that teaches farmers how to produce good crops that rely less on insecticides and fertilizers that can be harmful and expensive to buy.
Trees matter
Land clearing for mining is usually done with bulldozers that remove the trees and brush and reshape the land before mining can start. The loss of plant cover and biodiversity and poorer soils make it less likely for an area to support future crops successfully.
Usually removed trees are not utilised very efficiently. The timber is used to produce low value charcoal or is simply burned. However, KML has implemented an innovative plan to maximise profitability from their land-cleared timber, along with reforestation and conservation.
The timber recovery project includes a fully equipped sawmill and a furniture factory where the sawn timber is turned into school furniture such as desks, chairs and doors. These are distributed through KML’s social investment division, the Trident Foundation, to schools throughout Zambia.
KML’s forest management program supplies local communities with indigenous trees for replanting. Thinner trees that are harvested are used to fence off reforested land and areas used to re-introduce game to the region.
Timber that does not meet furniture grade will be used for timber sleepers that the mine’s water pipeline will rest on, instead of concrete, so a less expensive and recyclable material.
Sawmilling can protect Africa’s timber resources
KML cuts land-cleared logs into sawn timber with a complete sawmill line from Wood-Mizer. Harvested logs that meet the right requirements are first transported to the company’s log yard to wait for processing.
Two Wood-Mizer LT20B electric sawmills are used to square the logs into cants, which then pass through two Wood-Mizer HR200 single head resaws that cut the cants into boards at the required thicknesses.
The HR200 resaws also process the slabs into boards with waney edges. The resawn slabs then pass through a Wood-Mizer EG300 twin-edge board edger that removes both waney edges in one pass.
An important part of the sawmill is the saw shop where the blades are sharpened and set.
The saw shop has a Wood-Mizer BMS500 industrial sharpener that sharpens the blades to factory standards in a simple and convenient way. The BMS500 is designed for high-production sawmills that sharpen blades continuously.  A Wood-Mizer BMT300 industrial tooth setter then sets the blade teeth to the needed set specifications.
The BMS500 and BMT300 enable KML to sharpen and set their blades to the highest specifications. This allows them to cut very hard timber species into high quality boards easily and efficiently.
KML’s ability to maintain their own blades means less money is spent on buying new blades or paying contractors to service blades – decreasing costs and improving productivity.
The sawmill enables KML to take full advantage of the value their timber offers, and care for their environment more profitably and sustainably.
KML’s case gives more credence to the fact that Africa must learn how to use its resources responsibly to improve African lives and economies first, before those resources are allowed to leave the continent. Turning logs into valuable sawn timber benefits people, grows the continent’s economy and can inspire people to protect and replant Africa’s timber reserves to support life now and into the future.
Wood-Mizer – For Timber, For People.
Miombo forests cover large parts of Zambia. Kalumbila Mining Limited use Wood-Mizer sawmills to unlock the value of these woodlands sustainably.
KML’s log yard shows how much salvageable timber is available to be turned into high-value sawn products.
Two Wood-Mizer HR200 resaws cut slabs into boards with waney edges. Sitting behind them, the EG300 twin blade edger removes both waney edges in one pass.
KML’s ability to maintain their own blades means less money is spent on buying new blades or paying contractors to service blades – decreasing costs and improving productivity.
High quality, furniture-grade boards ready for shipment to a furniture factory.
KML produces their own pallets.
Contact: Wood-Mizer Africa
National News
The need for data packs
If you are wanting to buy a new plant or upgrade your existing plant, make sure that the engineering firm you choose is properly accredited & can provide a “data pack” verifying the plant’s compliance. This has become necessary because the authorities recently started enforcing the specifications governing treatment plants, which were published several years ago. read more
Tailor-Made upgarde for AH Marais
Dolphin Bay recently designed & installed a tailor-made plant upgrade for client AH Marais and Sons, enabling the company to increase production & satisfy the rising demand for its treated timber. AH Marais is a family business that started in 1924 and has grown steadily over the years.
read more
LCP Roofing joins forces with iStratgo for effective performance management
SA leader in roof truss technology, LCP Roofing, has recently partnered with local performance management solution, iStratgo, in order to optimise its business processes. Performance management is an ongoing process through which an employee’s efficacy in the workplace is both supported & enhanced for optimal throughput. read more
Log Export Ban: Will It Help Develop A Sustainable Timber Market In Mozambique?
Mozambique has banned the export of whole logs outright from 2017, regardless of the species, in an effort to encourage local processing & develop a sustainable timber market in Mozambique. Story by Ning Hui, who received funding for this investigation from the Global Environment Institute
read more
Laminated timber viable for structural applications
As a country whose available natural resources need to be conserved & used optimally, the SA construction trade can benefit from making use of laminated timber beams for structural applications. So says Abe Stears, Managing Director of SATAS, who offer certification & inspection services for the timber, chemical, metallurgical & plastic pipe industries. read more
Is it possible to pay less for the same power?
Many of us are conditioned to believe that saving energy is the only way to save money – Not true! While using less energy may have an impact, the resultant savings can be difficult to measure and quantify. Furthermore, electricity bills include fixed costs, meaning any successful energy saving initiatives will have a disproportional impact on overall cost. read more
New Renttech SA sales outlet offers customers greater convenience and service levels
Renttech SA, a leader in the sales & rental of top quality welding, lifting, rigging & construction equipment, has moved its PE branch into a new, spacious, state-of-the-art sales outlet. The move is in line with Renttech SA's strategy of expanding & consolidating its national footprint both nationally & regionally. read more
Elquip Solution brings the very latest cutting-edge sawing solutions to SA industry
In the world of fabrication or manufacturing, one of the first steps invariably involves cutting components from raw material. The faster, more efficiently and cost-effectively this can be done, the greater return-on-investment the product generates.
read more
International News
Timber from the tip
In a recent presentation at the CRC for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL) Participants Annual Forum on 15 November, Farshid Pahlevani from UNSW presented biocomposite timber panels. One great innovation coming out of the CRCLCL, and one likely to gain quick attention from the industry, is new biocomposite timber panelling. read more
Wood fibre bag may replace plastic bags
Paptic makes wood-based bags – the entrepreneurs came up with the related business idea in response to the news about plastic circulating the oceans. They began developing a material, combining the best aspects of plastic & paper, to help solve the problem. Paptic has now launched its first product made of the new material, with Seppälä introducing the world's first Paptic-bags.
read more
Historic first for FSC native woodchip exports
In an historic first for Tasmania, the initial shipment of some 50,000 tonnes of FSC/FM certified woodchips is set for export at the Bell Bay operations of Neville-Smith SmartFibre in March 2017. The SmartFibre PureForest product, developed by Neville-Smith SmartFibre in conjunction with SFM, is a FSC/FM certified high quality wood product sourced from private growers in native forest. read more
Fire tests completed for first mass Timber high-rise building in the U.S
The Framework Project, LLC announced that the company has successfully completed two significant fire tests on Cross-laminated Timber (CLT) as a building material, demonstrating for the first time the feasibility of tall mass timber buildings in the U.S.
read more
Overcoming mass timber construction barriers
Take a group of average Australians from every state except the Northern Territory & ask them what they think about the idea of massive timber construction for their homes, & the responses are likely to include fears about termites, fire & rot. Even most people in the property, insurance and finance sectors appear to be somewhat bemused by the idea massive timbers might overtake traditional ferroconcrete or brick-and-steel. read more
Oregon company opens torrefied briquette demo plant
An Oregon company that has been working toward commercialization of a torrefied biomass briquetting technology for several years has successfully completed a demonstration-scale plant in Troutdale, Oregon. And, the company announced, it is licensing its technology to a Japanese utility that intends to site a commercial-scale facility in the U.S. read more
Trump on Timber
Donald Trump promised to revive Oregon’s timber industry, which for decades has been hamstrung by severe curbs against logging in federal forests west of the Cascades summit. “Timber jobs (in Oregon) have been cut in half since 1990,” he said during his May 6 speech. “We are going to bring them up, folks, we are going to do it really right, we are going to bring them up, OK?”
read more
Alaska Airlines Makes Forest-Powered Flight to Washington D.C.
Alaska Airlines made history by launching the first-ever commercial flight powered by renewable, alternative jet fuel. The ground-breaking flight departed from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport & landed at Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. read more
Premier Forest Group moves in on £120m turnover as it acquires sawmill business
One of the UK's fastest growing timber firms, Newport-based Premier Forest Group, has confirmed its latest acquisition in a deal that drives its turnover to £120m. In what is its third acquisition in 18 months, Premier has acquired sawmill Jeffrey Waker Ltd. read more
VTT develops combustion technologies for biomass
VTT is seeking a carbon capture technology for Finnish power & heat production plants. The first pilots were implemented, using wood pellets, at VTT’s Bioruukki & the results are promising. Finland is well on its way to achieving the 2020 climate goals, but it is already clear that the goals for 2050 are impossible to attain without major changes in energy production and other industries. read more
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SSA · Forest Lodge, Sedgefield · Knysna, Western Cape 6573 · South Africa

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