Following the establishment of Ruichy Minova Synthetic Material Co in July 2005, the close of 2006 sees the end of a busy first year for Minova International’s business in China. Ruichy Minova at Coal Expo 2006 With the ever present danger of explosion and fires underground, 2006 has seen Chinese mining authorities focus more keenly on their safety record. This focus on safety also goes hand in hand with increased productivity to meet burgeoning domestic requirements and it is this that has led the demand for Minova products to increase at a rapid rate.The level of interest shown in the Minova product range by the large mining groups in China has been very encouraging. One example is a contract signed recently between Ruichy Minova and the Shanxi Asian American Daning Energy for the supply of more than 200 t of Tekseal for the installation of explosion proof stoppings. In addition to Tekseal, the mine has ordered 10 t of Tekflex for repairing and sealing existing ventilation structures. Many of the key employees at the mine are US based and, as such, are familiar with Minova’s suite of products and reputation and wish to use this expertize to improve ventilation control and increase safety and productivity at the mine.Over the period February to October 2006, Ruichy Minova developed a customer base of 16 coal groups which includes companies such as Yanzhou Coal, Daning Asian American Energy, Kailuan Coal Group, Datong Coal Group, Xin Wen Coal Group and Huaibei Coal Group and it is projected that first year sales will exceed £1 million.The number of staff required to support these sales increased in 2006 to almost 100 and required a recent move to new, larger offices in Beijing. Growing sales opportunities have also resulted in continuous development of the factory outside Beijing. Silos have been erected to handle bulk raw materials and an extra unit has been added to handle both finished goods and raw materials. Also planned for the next few months is the addition of a dedicated pre-weigh station for the powder plant, bunded areas in the resin blending plant and the creation of a workshop dedicated to the maintenance and upkeep of the application equipment. As the market develops Ruichy Minova is able to draw on the worldwide network of expertise available within the Minova International group enabling the introduction of best practice and quality products from around the world. The Chinese market will remain an important part of Minova’s business development in the long term. The sheer size and scale of both China and the coal mining industry there requires further investment from Ruichy Minova in the development of regional distribution centres and sales offices. Director for Business Development Peter Bell: “The expansion into China will also require an investment in personnel. Ruichy Minova has a policy of recruiting locally which enables the business to tap into the best available knowledge. It also means that the investment made by Minova is returned into the local economy. This is exemplified by the commitment shown by the management team at Ruichy Minova which has not only set up the new venture but also developed and introduced new products and ideas into the market place. It should be remembered that many of the products and processes sold by Ruichy Minova are new to market and development has been required from a grass roots level. Although the technology has been transferred from the established Minova companies around the world a great deal of work has been required to establish a quality supply of raw materials and hence a quality supply of finished goods to the mining industry.”International Mining’s February issue includes a focus on China.