Denel PMP invests in new explosive manufacturing facility


30 September 2011 – Pretoria Metal Pressings (PMP) today opened a new manufacturing facility that will significantly expand its capacity to produce primary explosives for end-users in the chemical and mining sectors.

The R10 million facility was opened by the chairperson of the PMP Board, Gabsie Mathenjwa, and the CEO, Carel Wolhuter, at the company’s premises to the west of Pretoria.

Speaking at the opening, Mathenjwa said: “PMP is a truly South African company, employs around 1 300 people and provides world-class ammunition to many customers, and most notably to the South African National Defence Force and the SA Police Services. Through export, it earns foreign exchange of between R200 million and R300 million annually for South Africa.”

The new investment will expand PMP’s capacity to manufacture lead azide by 150%, to more than five tons per month. The main customers are Sasol and AEL, which use the lead azide in the manufacture of detonators for the mining industry.

The investment into this modern facility became necessary for two reasons:

To respond to the higher demand from PMP’s clients; and To reduce risk. The new facility is geographically separate from the existing one, and can function independently.

PMP is one of the large business entities in the Denel Group. The company is internationally renowned for world-class military and commercial small and medium calibre ammunition.

According to Wolhuter, more than 35% of the company’s business is derived from commercial products. These include brass strip, drill-bits for the mining industry, hunting ammunition and primary explosives. This base-load enables PMP to be a reliable supplier of small and medium calibre ammunition to the local security forces, as well as to various customers around the world.

Wolhuter also emphasised that safety is one of management’s primary focus areas. The company reached 1 million accident-free hours on 2 September 2011, and boasts a low Lost Time Injury Frequency Ratio of 0.27. This puts it in the top 5% of “safe” companies in the world.