Despite the economic turbulence and significant challenges associated with operating in the African mining sector, the Omega Group has experienced exceptional growth in the mining security segment.
Omega is proud of its significant knowledge and expertise in the mining security. We believe that we are at the forefront of identifying security treats and introducing superior solutions to combat the risks of our clients and prospective clients in the mining sector.
The following overview illustrates Omega’s competence of providing integrated security solutions in the mining sector:
The following is a brief summary of current and past contracts that Omega manages or managed in this highly demanding industry:
Catoca Diamond Mine
The Catoca Diamond Mine, located in Angola, is the fourth largest diamond producing mine in the world. It was discovered in 1967 and started production in 1997. The mine is jointly owned by several companies, including Angola’s state-owned diamond company, Endiama, and Russia’s Alrosa.
Omega has been the preferred security service provider for the Catoca mine for many years. Security at the mine is of utmost importance, given the value of the diamonds extracted and the potential for theft and other criminal activities. The mine has a comprehensive security arrangement that includes a combination of physical and technological measures.
At the entrance to the mine, visitors and employees undergo a rigorous security screening process that includes metal detectors and x-ray machines. The perimeter of the mine is secured by a fence and guarded by armed security personnel. The mine also has a state-of-the-art surveillance system that includes CCTV cameras, motion sensors, and infrared cameras. These cameras are strategically placed throughout the mine to monitor activity and detect any suspicious behavior.
Lulo Diamond Project
The Lulo Diamond Project in Angola is one of the largest diamond mines in the world, with an estimated reserve of over 100 million carats of diamonds. However, the area where the mine is located has been plagued by conflict and instability, making security measures essential for the safety of workers and the protection of the diamond reserves.
To ensure the safety of workers and protect the diamond reserves, the Lulo Diamond Project has implemented a range of security measures and contracted Omega as its preferred security services provider.
Omega have been providing security services to Projecto Lulo since 1 July 2017. The focus of the service is base camp protection, drill site and equipment protection, product escort services as well as continuous patrolling of the area to clear the concession of illegal diamond miners. Strict access controls are applied, extensive surveillance systems are in place, and guards patrol the mine and surrounding areas. The security personnel are trained to respond to potential threats and have the authority to use force if necessary to protect the mine and its workers.
One of the most important security measures implemented by the Lulo Diamond Project is the use of technology to monitor the mine and surrounding areas. This includes CCTV cameras, motion sensors, and drones, which are used to detect and track any suspicious activity. The mine also has a command centre that is staffed 24/7 to monitor the surveillance systems and respond to any potential threats.
Endiama De Beers is a diamond mining joint venture between Angola’s national diamond company, Endiama, and De Beers, the global diamond company. The joint venture operates in the Lulo diamond concession in Angola’s Lunda Norte province and the Catoca mine in the Lunda Sul province.
The Endiama De Beers joint venture places a high priority on the safety and security of its personnel and assets. The company regularly reviews and updates its security procedures to ensure they remain effective and efficient. In addition, the joint venture is committed to working closely with local communities and stakeholders to promote safety and security in the surrounding areas.
Anadarko Contract: Oil Exploration
Vale Coal Mine, located in Mozambique, is one of the largest coal mines in the country, producing metallurgical and thermal coal for export to several countries, including China, India, and Japan. The mine is operated by Vale, a Brazilian mining company that has been present in Mozambique since 2004. Security is a crucial aspect of mining operations, especially in regions prone to instability and conflicts. Vale Coal Mine is located in Tete Province, which has a history of political violence and armed conflicts, including attacks by extremist groups. Therefore, the mine has implemented robust security arrangements to ensure the safety of its employees and assets.
Following a survey in 2011, Arkhê was awarded the contract and started providing services at the Vale Coal Mine on 01 July 2011. At the time this contract was one of Arkhê’s largest contracts with 455 men. Arkhê rendered services at Vale Coal Mine until 30 April 2015.
Rio Tinto Coal Mining
The Riversdale Mine in Mozambique is a coal mining operation located in the province of Tete, in the north-western region of the country. The mine is owned and operated by Rio Tinto, one of the largest mining companies in the world. The Riversdale Mine has been in operation since 2011 and is one of the largest coal mines in the country, producing both coking and thermal coal. Despite its strategic importance to the local economy, the Riversdale Mine has faced significant security challenges over the years. The region where the mine is located has been plagued by armed conflict, banditry, and terrorism. The security situation in the area has been volatile, with frequent attacks on mining companies, infrastructure, and workers.
Arkhê officially started rendering security services to Rio Tinto on 01 June 2013 with 260 men in Tete. The hard work of the Arkhê staff in Tete, the professional way in which we conducted our contracted services in the Tete province and the support and leadership from the Arkhê HQ in Maputo ensured huge successes for Arkhê. Clive Clulow joined Arkhê as the Contract Manager and grew the company in Tete by adding sub-contractors of Rio Tinto to our list of contracts with close to 400 security officers during the peak of the Rio Tinto operations. Arkhê rendered services at the Riversdale Mine until 4 January 2012.
Montepeuz Ruby Mine
The Montepeuz Ruby Mine (MRM) in Mozambique is one of the most significant ruby deposits in the world. The mine is located in the northern part of the country, in the Cabo Delgado province, which is known for its rich mineral resources.
MRM is operated by Gemfields, a London-based company that specializes in the mining, processing, and sale of colored gemstones. Given the high value of the gemstones extracted from the mine, security arrangements at MRM are of utmost importance. The company has invested heavily in
security measures to protect its assets and personnel. The mine is located in a remote area and is surrounded by dense forests, making it vulnerable to security threats.
The company has deployed a comprehensive security system that includes round-the-clock monitoring, CCTV cameras, and trained security personnel. Access to the mine is strictly controlled, and all visitors are thoroughly screened before entry.
Arkhê provided security to the MRM in the Cabo Delgado province from June 2012 until 2021. The mine covers a surface area of approximately 33,600 hectares. The Arkhê guard force deployed to MRM at that time was approximately 465 men strong including management, supervision, security officers as well as the more specialized K-9 and armed security officer units and teams.
Arkhê’s primary responsibility was to provide security services to safeguard the main mining pits, stockyards and other installations. The Arkhê guard force was employed in both the industrial and area protection role, something not normally done by contracted security but rather entrusted to internal security apparatus on mines. As a value-added measure to ensure client retention Arkhê regularly conducted area operations where all available manpower and force multipliers were utilized to ensure optimum application and utilization of manpower, material and dogs to the advantage of the client.
HUSAB (Swakop Uranium)
The HUSAB Mine, also known as the Swakop Uranium Mine, is located in the Namib Desert in western Namibia. It is one of the largest uranium mines in the world, and its production plays a significant role in meeting global demand for nuclear energy. The mine is operated by Swakop Uranium, a subsidiary of the China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC).
Omega was awarded the security contract in August 2014 and rendered services until August 2017. One of Omega’s primary security measures at the HUSAB Mine was the use of access controls. All employees, contractors, and visitors must undergo a rigorous screening process before entering the site. This includes identity verification, background checks, and vehicle inspections. The mine also has a sophisticated security camera system that monitors all activities on the site.
The security arrangements at the HUSAB Mine are among the most stringent in the mining industry. Omega is extremely proud to have been associated with HUSAB.
Glencore Coal (SA Operations): (GOSA)
Glencore Coal Mine South Africa is one of the largest coal mines in the country, located in the province of Mpumalanga. The mine produces high-quality thermal coal that is sold domestically and internationally. However, as with any large-scale mining operation, security is a major concern, both to protect the mine’s assets and the safety of its employees. To address these concerns, Glencore has implemented a comprehensive security system that includes both physical and technological measures. The physical security measures include the presence of security guards, regular patrols of the mine perimeter, and access control measures, such as electronic gates and security checkpoints. The security personnel are trained to handle emergency situations and have the necessary equipment to respond to any threats quickly.
Omega started with the security contract, (guarding) on 01 February 2005, (then Xstrata plc) and we are still rendering this service after 18 successful years. Although the “Glencore Coal’s security strategy” remains to divide the security operations between different companies, (Omega is responsible for guarding, access control & vehicle/foot patrols) another company is responsible for reaction and response and another company responsible for the control room, we still believe our key to success can be listed below as follows:
- Understanding Glencore’s processes, threats, and risks,
- We are treated as part of the “Glencore’s security team” and not contractors providing a service,
- Although three, (3) different security companies are deployed at Glencore, we all work together in combating crime as one department, resulting in a safe and secure working environment for all employees.
Diamond mines are some of the most valuable mining operations in the world. However, due to the high value of diamonds, they are also a target for criminals and illicit activities. This makes security a crucial aspect of diamond mining operations. Having good appreciation for the challenges of security in diamond mines, Omega’s model employs various security measures to protect a mine’s assets, employees, and the surrounding communities. Simple as it may sound, Omega has found that one of the most common security measures is perimeter fencing. This helps to prevent unauthorized access to the mine and its facilities. Access control systems such as gates, ID cards, and biometric scanners are also used to restrict entry and exit to the mine.
In addition to physical security, Omega also promulgates the use of advanced technology to protect the operations of its clients. Our approach is to recommend that closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras are installed throughout the mine and are monitored in real-time by security personnel. Alarm systems, motion sensors, and infrared cameras are also used to detect any unusual activity and alert security personnel.
Wherever Omega operates with clients in the diamond mines, we recommend that they work closely with the communities surrounding the mines. This includes providing education and training opportunities to local residents, supporting local law enforcement agencies, and engaging in social responsibility initiatives. This helps to build trust and foster positive relationships with the local community.
From 2010 Omega rendered a service to the De Beers Family of Companies with a project to assist De Beers to lead and implement the De Beer’s new security strategy based on the hybrid model of the De Beers inhouse security enhanced by contracted security specialists.
Omega did a complete Business Process Reengineering of the De Beers operations in Botswana, De Beers Finsch Mine, De Beers Voorspoed Mine, De Beers Venetia Mine and De Beers Kimberley Mines which included a variety of aspects, for example:
- Day to day security management of the mines, carrying out of comprehensive security surveys, formulation & implementation of a combination of several security measures to mitigate risks and to contain crime, identification of threats and criminal forces.
- Continually assessed security and production operational practices at all areas for inefficiencies/ possible improvement opportunities and made recommendations to enhance value delivery. We also reviewed all human interventions into high concentrate diamond processes due to spillages, chokes, etc. and minimise the requirements for people to operate in high-risk areas.
- Educated all personnel assigned to high-risk areas on the procedures and how issues of coercion and collusion can impact upon them and what to do if approached or threatened.
- We also developed and maintained internal and external networks and contacts local communities for information gathering to ensure an effective investigation process and optimal asset protection.
- Investigated general crime offences in accordance with policies and procedures with a view to securing convictions and establishes suspect profiles.
- Introduced and maintained intelligence systems to act pro-actively.
The original project period was for only three, (3) months, but due to Omega’s successes, this project was extended until end 2014.
Although the project ended 2014, Omega was awarded an additional security contract at De Beers Voorspoed mine to provide Security High Risk Leads, Security Process Experts & Security Surveillance Staff until after closure of the mine and the contract ended on 31 January 2020.
International Ferro Metals
International Ferro Metals (LSE: IFL) is a leading Australian based ferrochrome producer operating in South Africa. Its product is used in stainless steel manufacturing.
Construction on the production facility at Buffelsfontein in South Africa started in 2005 and it went into full production in 2007. It produces ferrochrome from chromite ore located in the Bushveld Igneous Complex. Its Lesedi chromite mine and integrated beneficiation and smelting operations are situated at Buffelsfontein.
Omega started with security services at International Ferro Metals (Pty) Ltd and Sky Chrome (Pty) Ltd 01 December 2005 till the IFMSA & Sky Chrome business rescue process in March 2016.
EVRAZ Vametco Alloys
Vametco is an integrated mining and processing plant. Vametco operates an open pit mine which supplies ore to a vanadium processing plant located on the same property. Vametco’s open pit mine is approximately 3.5 kilometers long. Omega started providing an integrated security solution to Vametco Alloys on 01 June 2006 responsible for all security related function on site, including the deployment of a Tactical Response Team. The contract ended mid-2011.
Through proprietary technologies and processes the main products Sasol produce are fuel components, chemical components, and co-products.
On 01 July 2009 Omega started a five-year contract to provide advance integrated security services to Sasol Coal Mining Operations in Secunda.
Over this period an average of 500 security staff was employed. This escalated to 700 during shutdown periods.
mining supply chain
Omega also provides integrated security services to suppliers, supplying services and goods to the mining industry.
Solar Mining Services (Pty) Ltd
The Solar Group is a global manufacturer and blasting service provider with a full range of blasting solutions in Africa. With a wealth of diverse collective and collaborative technical knowledge,
expertise, and experience in explosives, we are proud to offer fit for purpose and innovative effective blasting solutions built on uncompromised foundations of Safety, Quality and Reliability.
Omega was awarded a three, (3) years contract effective 15 January 2020. The services included guarding, patrolling and safekeeping of two, (2) off site explosive arms depots. Due to the procurement process, this contract ended on 01 May 2023.
Omega commenced rendering services to ClinicPlus on 1 December 2019.
ClinicPlus in Witbank offers a variety of medical services such as general consultations, minor procedures, vaccinations, and chronic disease management.
ClinicPlus provides medical screening services and issue Certificate of Fitness, (COF) to mine employees and contractors working in the mining industry.
Bwana Mkbuwa Mine
Bwana Mkubwa Mine is a copper mine located in Ndola, Zambia. It is one of the oldest mines in the country, having been in operation since 1902. The mine is owned and operated by a subsidiary of the Canadian mining company, First Quantum Minerals. The mine has a production capacity of approximately 40,000 tonnes of copper per annum.
The contract for security at Bwana Mkubwa Mine (under First Quantum Minerals Limited) was awarded to Omega in June 2012. The contract was quite challenging being 400km away from the home base in Lusaka. Only three days after the contract started, we made our first arrests of suspects who were arrested for breaking copper ore at the decant area.
This mine was in a closing down process and First Quantum Minerals sold the mine and the plant to Jubilee Metals Group that transformed the plant to a crusher plant for copper ore. The copper concentrate that is produced at this plant is then transported to Sable Zink in Kabwe (200km from Ndola) where it is processed, and the Copper is shipped out of Zambia via road transport.
Universal Mining&Chemicals Industries (Nampundwe Mine)
The mine at Nampundwe mine (75 km west of Lusaka) is an iron ore mine that started on 1 July 2017. The ore is transported to Kafue Smelter Plant that also belongs to Universal Mining & Chemicals Industry in Kafue. They have started constructing a Lime plant on the same site. Omega is still the preferred service provider.
Kalumbila Mine is a copper and cobalt mine located in the North-Western Province of Zambia. The mine is owned and operated by First Quantum Minerals, a Canadian mining company that has been operating in Zambia since 1996. Kalumbila Mine was commissioned in 2015 and has an annual production capacity of 270,000 tonnes of copper concentrate and 14,000 tonnes of cobalt concentrate. The mine is an open-pit operation and employs over 3,000 people, including contractors.
Omega started rendering security services at the Kalumbila mine contract on 1 September 2012. In May 2017 the operational contract with Kalumbila Minerals was signed. Omega’s involvement in the operation consists of managing the Kalumbila Mine reception at the main gate, access control to various entry points to the mine as well as CCTV operators and physical patrolling the mine premises.
The contract is ongoing, and Omega is exceptionally proud of our association with Kalumbila Mine.
Omega also provides integrated security services to suppliers, supplying services and goods to the mining industry.
After the tender was allocated to Omega it commenced with the security service at the Ambatovy mine on 1 December 2011. More than 200 security officers were employed at the site. The contract terminated the end of 2014.
The tender for the Resolute Diamond Mine was awarded to Omega on 1 October 2010. The mine was closed down in about 2014.