Updated: Nov 3, 2021
Duratray International is celebrating its 20th anniversary in Australia since being acquired by Conyment International Group, yet its dump bodies have a much longer history.
The Duratray dump bodies were first developed by Swedish manufacturer Skega and promoted in Europe and the USA, mainly in quarries and hard rock mines. Skega eventually sold its equipment to Pacific Dunlop, who developed it further in Australia and launched it in Canada. However, in 2001 Dunlop Pacific began selling off some of its portfolio, including the Suspended Dump Body division, which was purchased by Chilean holding Conyment International Group.
At the time, Conymet was a well-established mining equipment manufacturer and service provider based in Antofagasta, Chile, with a trajectory of more than 35 years in the Chilean mining market. In 1985 Conymet built the first dump body in Chile - the 170ton dump body was commissioned at Chuquicamata, the largest open-pit copper mine in the world at that time, which still belongs to the Chilean Government’s Codelco. Also, in 1995 Conymet, in collaboration with BHP Chile, implemented the first light weight tray in the mining industry in Chile, becoming the new international standard for dump bodies.
At the time of Duratray’s acquisition, Conymet was led by its founder Mr. Manuel Medel Lepe, but he retired soon after that and the responsibility of the newly acquired company fell in his sons Marco, Mauricio, Manuel, Matias and Marcelo.
The journey of Duratray in Australia has been challenging but at the same time very successful. Since its inception, the company has grown its international footprint from 8 to 34 countries, established offices and manufacturing facilities in a number of locations, including South Africa, Russia, Canada and the USA, and increased its revenue by 1500%.
Duratray has been recognised in several occasions by the Australian government, receiving the Governor of Victoria Export Award for Minerals, Energy and Related Services in 2019, the First Large-Scale Chilean Investment in Australia Award in 2017, the Governor of Victoria Export Award for Minerals and Energy in 2010 and it entered the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame for Manufacturing Excellence in 2015.
The company has also been awarded Australian Government funds and awards for business, innovation and technology expansion, including the recent award from Invest Victoria to onshore all its manufacturing in Melbourne in a state-of-the-art new facility.
As a Latin American company operating in Australia, Duratray has been a key member and collaborator of the Australia-Latin America Business Council (ALABC) for a number of years and its COO Steve Hall is one of ALABC Directors. In 2019 Duratray received the ALABC Recognition Award for 18 years of Business Expansion in Australia.
Not long after establishing in Australia, Duratray also became member of Austmine, the leading not-for-profit industry association for the Australian Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) sector. As members, the company has exhibited at the biannual Austmine Mining Conference and Exhibition on numerous occasions.
Currently, Duratray International in Australia takes pride in employing 25 team members from eight different nationalities who work in the Brisbane and Perth branches and the headquarters in Melbourne, led by Managing Director Marcelo Medel.
"Very proud to see how far the great leadership of the Managing division and the intelligence and hard work of the Duratray team have taken the company so successfully to so many countries in five continents. Overcoming adversity time after time, restless passion and so much audacity and talent", acknowledged Conyment Duratray President Manuel Medel.
The 20th anniversary will be celebrated with employees and friends in Melbourne this October.