The core of Sepro’s industrial mixing and pumping knowledge comes from years of troubleshooting and problem-solving. Sepro personnel have travelled the world identifying and solving some of the world’s most complicated mixing problems. Whether it’s insufficient suspension, gas flooding, impeller blade or shaft failures – we’ve solved process and mechanical problems from all types of mixing applications.
Mechanical problems are often rooted in process conditions. In addition to having direct process knowledge in most mixing and pumping applications, Sepro Mixing and Pumping draws on the expertise of the larger Sepro group of companies to develop holistic process solutions.
Approach with a purpose
In 1972, Warren founded a mixing and pumping business that soon became a leader in its field in South Africa. For 28 years, Warren and his collaborators introduced many agitation system innovations surrounding metallurgical plants, including draft tube circulators for gold and uranium leaching, axial gas dispersers for bacterial leaching and efficient solvent extraction systems. As part of a mutual development program Warren’s company, along with Billiton, Gold Fields and Biomin, worked to develop new bioleaching agitation systems of gold, copper and nickel. After selling his business in 2000, Warren became a consultant for high technology agitation systems, with a focus on large agitators for metallurgical plants – particularly bio-oxidation.
In 2010, Warren relocated to Canada where he formed Canamix Processing Systems, producing Canamix industrial agitators and peristaltic pumps. Six years later, Canamix and Sepro joined forces to bring Warren’s deep technical knowledge and experience to a much wider audience.
Francois van der Merwe
With a B.Eng, metallurgical engineering – focusing on hydrometallurgy – and 16 years of mineral processing experience, Francois brings a lot to the table within different areas of the industry.
Francois started as a metallurgist with Anglo American, covering duties such as metal accounting, process optimization, debottlenecking and new technology implementation. He moved into a process engineer position, working with equipment selection and sizing, hot and cold commissioning as well as client site support.
He eventually became general manager of Canamix Processing Systems under direct tutelage of Warren Dale. Francois’ wealth of process stream knowledge gave him the ability to approach the impact equipment or processes can have on Sepro products, with a more holistic point of view; offering clients the best the industry has to offer.
More People Behind Sepro Mixing and Pumping
The Sepro Group’s corporate leadership.
Technical Sales Engineer
Edward Tan, Technical Sales Engineer Extraordinaire, is a shining star within the Sepro family of companies. Having joined Sepro in 2014 after a history of auspicious work with Amec, Whitewater Composites, and Ballard Power Systems, Edward has continued to exceed all of the highest expectations that have burdened his shoulders. With a degree from the University of British Columbia in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Edward has served many critical roles at Sepro and is a self-described problem solver. Solving client issues has taken him through various roles in projects and out into the world to provide on-site technical services across the globe. At Sepro Mixing and Pumping, Edward is an expert in the sizing of agitators and process design.
Before joining the Sepro Mixing & Pumping team, Ahraz gained five years professional experience in the sawmill industry. Since joining Sepro Mixing & Pumping he has: become a level 1 welding inspector, Lean Sensei green belt certified, and completed his bachelor’s in manufacturing engineering at BCIT. His background has helped him excel with design and fabrication of the pumps and agitators for Sepro Mixing & Pumping.
Mark Van Kleek
President and CEO
Mark Van Kleek completed his undergraduate degree in mining and mineral processing from the University of British Columbia (UBC). He began his career in aggregates and industrial minerals before advancing to gravity processing technology. After extensive world travel and on-site experience, Mark attended Simon Fraser University to complete a Masters of Business Administration with a specialty in technology development. Mark returned to the mining and mineral processing industry, to work with environmentally friendly technologies before accepting the role as president of Falcon Concentrators in 2004. Under Mark’s guidance, Falcon Concentrators purchased Sepro Mineral Processing International which amalgamated the two companies into what is now known as Sepro Mineral Systems Corp. Through Mark’s strategic decision making, senior leadership and technical experience, Sepro Mineral Systems continues to add to its well-developed product lines and enjoys aggressive growth. Mark looks forward to expanding Sepro’s range of products and services to meet the ever-changing needs of the mining and mineral processing industry.
VP Finance & Administration
Heather Schwalm joined Sepro in late 2019 bringing with her 25 years of experience across diverse industries including manufacturing, technology, oilfield and construction. She spent 11 years as the Director, Finance at the Vitrum Glass Group / Apex Aluminum Group where she guided significant expansion during her tenure. Heather holds a CPA, CGA designation and thrives in a strategic operational environment. During her career, she has been involved in business leadership, corporate strategy, finance and contract management. Heather is responsible for the company’s financial and administrative functions including accounting, audit, treasury, and corporate finance.
Mark Vinchoff joined the Sepro team in early 1995 and brought with him over 5 years of experience in custom machinery design. After obtaining a Mechanical Engineering Degree from Lambton University, he worked as a Thermal Hydraulics Engineer at Atomic Energy of Canada Laboratories and as a Custom Machinery Designer at Accutech Engineering Inc. Mark’s career with Sepro began as a Product Development Engineer for the Semi Batch and Continuous Concentrator Models. In his position, he worked directly with customers to modify products as per their specification and went above and beyond in order to meet their equipment needs. He then moved on to become the Manager of R&D Engineering, using his expertise to co-develop the C-Valve and Icon product line, in which he holds a co-share patent. In 2008 Mark was asked to manage our new product line of Sepro Mills, Scrubbers and Agglomerators, acquired through the purchase of Sepro Mineral Processing International. His experience and knowledge has provided Sepro Mineral Systems Corp. with a solid foundation to be a leader in the international mining industry. In his current position as Sepro’s VP Engineering, Mark and his team strive to develop the world’s best Mineral Processing Equipment.
Quality Assurance Manager
Ken Smith joined the Sepro team in January of 1993, bringing with him over 10 years of experience in the mining industry. This experience includes hardrock and alluvial mining, mining construction, sand and gravel, mill ore processing and system design. Combined with schooling in mechanical engineering, this gives him a very well-rounded base of knowledge and expertise in many areas of the mineral processing field. As Technical Services Manager for many years, he was responsible for managing on-site commissioning and service of the Falcon Gravity Concentrators equipment, training of site personnel, implementing test programs, creating instructional documentation and manuals, as well as contributing to design improvements of Sepro technology. Now as the Quality Assurance Manager, all of this experience is being applied to implementing and managing Sepro’s Quality Management System.
Sinisa Ciric brings over 25 years of experience in the fabrication, manufacturing, and equipment assembly industry to his position as Sepro’s VP Operations. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and has continued his professional development in the areas of program management and lean manufacturing through Lean Sensei International’s Blackbelt Program.
Previous to joining Sepro, Sinisa held high level positions at several multi-national companies where he honed his skills in the areas of supply chain design, RFQs, inventory, shortage management, on-time receivables, lead time reduction, supplier selection, negotiation, performance & development, as well as cost reduction activities. Specifically he has worked for Cascade Aerospace as Supply Chain Manager, MTU Maintenance Canada as Manager of Logistics and Stores, Boeing Seattle as Manufacturing Engineer Planner as well as De Havilland Toronto.
Sinisa is a strong believer that agile supply chain performance with a goal for the best cost and lead time in a volatile market will give Sepro the advantage and help us to better serve our customers.
VP Project Management, Marketing, R&D and IP
Andrew Gillis first joined Sepro in 2007 and has held roles within the company that include process support, new technology development and sales management. He also has experience in mining operations, consulting and continuous improvement through work in the coal and oil and gas industries. In addition, he has worked with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) on issues relating to the health and safety of small scale and artisanal miners.
As Vice President he oversees Sepro’s research and development activities, intellectual property portfolio, Project Management department, Marketing department, and is responsible for the evaluation and management of new corporate ventures. Andrew holds a Mining and Mineral Processing degree from the University of British Columbia, an MBA from Simon Fraser University and is a registered Professional Engineer.
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