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Stockport manufacturer to supply world's largest copper mine 

Environmental monitoring equipment made in the North West is set to protect miners working at the world’s largest copper mine, following a major new exporting deal for Stockport-based manufacturer Trolex Ltd.

Trolex, founded in 1959, designs and manufactures high-tech instruments, such as gas detectors, airflow sensors and particulate monitors, to improve safety in hazardous environments including mines and tunnels.

The business has secured a £350,000 contract that will see its products installed in Chile’s Chuquicamata copper mine, a division of state-owned copper mining corporation, Codelco.

The mine, which is more than 1 kilometre deep, is currently undergoing a multi-billion US dollar conversion that will result in the open pit closing and new underground activity producing 300,000 tonnes of copper each year. Trolex has been working with Codelco since 2016.

The contract is in addition to a £400,000 deal with Russian company EuroChem, which will see Trolex supply its products to two new mines being constructed in Russia to mine potash – potassium compounds commonly used as fertilisers.

Following the recent contract wins, Trolex expects to see its overall turnover grow by 20% by the end of 2019. It is also planning to recruit up to four new employees in manufacturing roles over the same period to help meet demand.

The Chilean deal comes after Trolex made its first step into the Latin American market six years ago as part of a trade mission organised by DIT. This enabled the business to gain insight into the market’s opportunities.

Trolex’s CEO, Patrick Brian, currently serves as a Northern Powerhouse Export Champion for the North West of England, working with DIT to inspire other businesses across the region to export. 

Patrick Brian, CEO of Trolex Ltd, said: "Safety and compliance are international concerns and the UK’s status as a leading voice in Health & Safety means that demand for our products continues to grow.

"Overseas activity now accounts for 85% of our business and we’re fortunate to hold a long-standing relationship with DIT that continues to pay dividends. We first entered the South American market via a DIT trade mission in 2013 and haven’t looked back.

“I'd encourage others to make the most of the wealth of export support available through DIT. It can open doors for businesses like ours trading overseas – if we can export around the world, others can too."

Paul Stowers, Head of Region (North West) at DIT, said: "These new export deals are set to help drive Trolex’s continued growth. Innovative businesses of all sizes across the North West just like Trolex are currently enjoying export success, and many others can follow in their footsteps.  

"Exporting can help businesses boost their profitability and increase their resilience. To help navigate the process, we have a team of International Trade Advisers (ITAs) based across the region ready to offer expert advice and one-to-one support.

"This includes help addressing challenges such as overseas regulation and logistics, as well identifying new partners. Anyone interested in seeing how they can start or grow their exports – whether they’re a manufacturer like Trolex or a service provider – should get in touch with our team today."

Ashleigh Smith
Article by Ashleigh Smith
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