A PHONE call from an Irishman in Mongolia initially sounded like a scam to Moonbi company Andromeda Industries – but actually resulted in a $40,000 business transaction.
Andromeda manufactures and specialises in superflex steel cables and slings for the mining, construction, shipping and engineering industries.
More than a tonne of its recovery strops will make the journey to the Oyu Tolgoi mining project in Mongolia, via Xingang, some time this week – a first for the locally owned and operated business.
The whole venture started with a long-distance phone call from an Irishman running the Oyu Tolgoi project to Andromeda administration manager Annette Williams.
At first, Mrs Williams thought the whole thing was a scam but after speaking to the representative for a couple of minutes, it turned out his request was legitimate.
“He was after some recovery strops,” she said.
“Apparently he already had some with our letters stamped on and he asked us to supply some more.”
The $40,000 Mongolian order included six strops at different lengths and weights of about 300 kilograms a piece.
“For a company out in Moonbi, that’s pretty good,” Mrs Williams said.
She said the strops would more than likely be used to tow heavy machinery at the mining site.
To add to the unusual order, the customers then wanted the strops sent by plane.
Andromeda’s founder and general manager Raymond McLaren said he couldn’t believe it when the Oyu Tolgoi people made that request.
“They’re steel cables – goodness knows what air freight would have cost,” Mr McLaren said.
He said it was the first time the company had ever sent a shipment to Mongolia, but it had regularly sent products to Northern China before.
“We send cables Australia-wide, straight to distributors,” Mr McLaren said.
He said those companies then sent them off to their customers, with a weekly shipment making its way to Western Australia’s mining boom sites.