Background and History

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Published Date Written by Immo Blecher

UIS Analytical Services was incorporated in 2000 with two companies being the major shareholders: the South African company LabInvest Consulting (Pty) Ltd and the German company UIS Beteiligungs- and Beratungsgesellschaft mbH. Its intent was to provide a specialist analysis and consulting service for environmental, water, soil, rock, materials and agricultural samples. Soon after its establishment UIS Analytical Services was approached by Kumba Resources Limited to make an offer to purchase all assets of their Environmental Technology laboratory and provide Kumba with the same analytical service on an outsourced basis. In order to provide the same level of service UIS Analytical Services also made offers of employment to all eighteen Kumba laboratory staff and started the new exciting operation in January 2003. In April 2003 the laboratory moved to its present premises at Highveld Technopark in Centurion, Pretoria due to space constraints and increased its personnel to more than twenty.

During 2003 the initial two shareholding companies sold all their shares to individual shareholders in order to provide for shareholding of Historically Disadvantaged Individuals (HDIs), two of whom presently having a shareholding of more than 25%.

In 2006 UIS Analytical Services made a strategic decision to expand its services to Tete, Mozambique. The research of mineral resources in Mozambique during recent years has induced the influx of small to large mining companies to conduct numerous exploration projects, especially in the north-western parts and the coastal zones of the country, some of which have been proved to be feasible for exploitation, having resulted in smaller up to large scale mines under construction already.

During the exploration projects it was found that soil and drilling samples could not be analysed in Mozambique as there was at that time no other chemical laboratory in the country that had the capability to analyse samples from coal and base metal exploration projects, which require highly specialised analysis methods and high-tech equipment. Therefore samples were sent to Europe, America, Australia and South Africa for analysis resulting in high cost and long turn-around times due to transport and customs issues.

Therefore in 2006 ACT-UIS Laboratórios de Moçambique, Lda. a Mozambican private commercial laboratory company, which has three equal (33.33%) shareholders (Advanced Coal Technology (Pty) Ltd., South Africa, UIS Analytical Services (Pty) Ltd., South Africa, and PlurInvest Lda., a Mozambican investment company), was formed to supply an analytical service to these companies, a first in Mozambique.

In order to provide more individual shareholding to employees and existing shareholders of UIS Analytical Services management decided in 2007 to split off the Environmental Division of the company to from a new company UIS Organic Laboratory (Pty) Ltd which is specialising in the analysis of organic pollutants. This company's laboratory is based at Route 21 Corporate Park in Irene.

In 2011 it became evident that he iron and manganese mining sector was very active in the Northern Cape, with a lot of small mining companies starting geological exploration projects and larger mining companies already active in the area expanding their exploration work. UIS Analytical Services management therefore decided to open a branch in Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape, to be closer to the customers' activities. This laboratory initially focused on XRF analyses for iron and manganese exploration, but now is already in the state of expansion to also provide microbiological, water and environmental analyses.

In 2012 UIS sold its shares in ACT-UIS Laboratórios de Moçambique, Lda to multi-national Bureau Veritas International SAS, who already had a stake in the Mozambican operation with the acquisition of Advanced Coal Technologies (Pty) Ltd a year earlier and was actively increasing their footprint in Africa.

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