From the Founder 2

Year in Review: ‘Unstoppable’ mindset at heart of National Group’s success.

I’m pleased to report another solid year of growth for National Group in 2021.

The year has been particularly satisfying on four fronts. The first was the efforts of National Group staff in a year of volatility and uncertainty in mining due to Covid.

National Group’s catchphrase of ‘unstoppable’ is much more than a marketing slogan. The drive to help our clients grow in all mining conditions – whatever the challenge – is part of our organisation culture. It came to the fore during the pandemic.

The second pleasing aspect of 2021 was several contract wins in New South Wales and Queensland. The award of a fully maintained mobile mining equipment contract at Newcrest Mining’s Cadia mine in Central Western NSW will create many jobs at National Group and substantially expand our fleet.

To kick off 2022, we will also start a new contract for Anglo American Australia on its two expanding open-cut coal mines at its Capcoal operation in the Bowen Basin (Lake Lindsay and Oak Park).

Coal has been a source of consistent growth for National Group, and we remain optimistic about the industry’s future despite short-term price pressures and the move towards net-zero carbon emissions in many large economies by 2050 or beyond.

National Group’s heavy-haulage business also had a good year. The Transport Manager at National Heavy Haulage, Woody Scott, is interviewed in this edition of Unstoppable.

The third notable aspect of 2021 was the internal development of National Group. In the past few months, we launched the largest recruitment campaign in the company’s history. That was due to new contract wins and the expansion of some contracts.

As part of this growth, National Group broadened its apprenticeship campaign, which was launched last year. Five apprentice diesel fitters have joined the company since then and we hope to take on a few more this year. Our goal is to develop more diesel fitters from within the company through a long-term investment in our workforce.

In addition to more apprentice diesel fitters, we’ve recruited some senior maintenance staff to support our new contracts. One of them, Murray Grimes, Maintenance Superintendent for National Group’s Cadia contract, is interviewed in this issue of Unstoppable here.

It’s always pleasing to see people take an opportunity and expand their careers at National Group. And not only on the operations side of our company. Chloe Krkovski, executive assistant, is a good example of how our talented young employees are growing their careers as National Group grows. Chloe, too, is profiled in this edition.

The fourth highlight from 2021 was National Group’s expanded Corporate Social Responsibility program. We’ve always believed in giving back to local communities where our employees work or live, principally through sporting or industry events.

National Group took its CSR up a notch in 2021 and wants to expand its financial support to mental health, domestic violence and other important health issues. We recently sponsored a White Ribbon Day event and made an organisation donation. Our employees were eager to support this worthwhile cause and some made a personal donation. If you know of other health causes that need support, please email National Group Marketing Executive Kain Ford at [email protected]

Looking ahead

2022 promises to be one of National Group’s biggest years. Our Cadia and Anglo American contracts ramp up in the early part of this year. We have several contracts in the pipeline and are receiving an increasing number of enquiries from existing and new clients.

Equipment supply will be an industry-wide challenge in 2022. Manufacturing supply disruptions during Covid have made it harder to source new equipment. At the same time, demand for mining equipment is rising, as is the price of used equipment.

For the past six months, a recurring message from National Group to its clients has been to plan further ahead with equipment needs. I’m pleased that several clients took our advice and are well-placed to navigate the complexities of mining-equipment supply next year.

National Group’s other goal for 2022 is to bed down our recent growth, both in terms of contract wins and the expansion of our workforce and fleet. From day one, National Group’s success has been built on quality and reliability; both are non-negotiable as our company grows.

Another highlight will be National Group’s 25th anniversary. We’ll have more to say on this as the time approaches, and have several initiatives underway. It seems fitting that this year is our 25th anniversary, just as National Group starts a new chapter in its growth.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Unstoppable and would be delighted if you refer it to colleagues who might also find the information useful. It is part of National Group’s communication strategy to provide more information about what we do, and the people behind our service.

On behalf of the entire National Group team, we would like to thank you for your ongoing support and look forward to working with you in 2022 and beyond.

Mark Ackroyd

Founder and Managing Director

National Group