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Manufacturing: Our Sawmills and Distribution

George Sawmill (GSM)

Located in the heart of the Western Cape’s forestry region, George Sawmill stands as a beacon of quality and sustainability in the MTO Group. Since its establishment in 1935, GSM has processed between 100,000 to 110,000 m³ of pine saw logs annually into top-quality lumber that is a cornerstone in structural construction, affordable modular housing, and various industrial uses. Our lumber density ranks among the highest in the country, reflecting our commitment to excellence.

George Sawmill Signage
Unprocessed pine logs

​Innovative technologies at GSM include a steam-driven turbine that uses sawdust and chips as fuel, generating 60%-70% of the mill’s electricity needs. This green energy solution allows us to supply excess power back to the grid, significantly reducing our carbon footprint.

Additionally, the finger-jointing process extends our lumber into planks up to 6.6 meters long, catering to diverse market demands.​GSM also plays a critical role in the treatment process, where planks from Longmore and structural timber undergo kiln drying and are treated with Copper Chrome Arsenate (CCA) at our facility. This ensures the durability and quality of our final products.

Manufacturing at MTO's George Sawmill
George Sawmill Biomass Woodchip pile

Longmore Sawmill (LSM)

Located in the Southern part of the Eastern Cape, Longmore Sawmill is integral to our operations, processing 70,000 m³ of small diameter logs annually on a single shift. LSM focuses on producing wet off-saw lumber, with a significant portion of its output transferred to GSM for further processing. Recent upgrades include the installation of 3D scanning technology for improved log sorting accuracy and increased sorting bay capacity, ensuring enhanced productivity and resource utilisation. Additionally, LSM takes a proactive approach to environmental management by converting sawmill residues into boiler fuel, aligning with our sustainability objectives.

Harvested logs in log sorter
Pile of bark from logs that are debarked

Retreat (DC)

The Retreat Distribution Centre (DC) is located in Cape Town, and is a crucial hub within our network, located strategically to optimise the distribution of our timber products. This site houses advanced treating plants and is responsible for the outbound distribution of a variety of value-added products, including laminated beams, plywood, and poles. Serving as a key logistical point, the Retreat DC ensures efficient and timely delivery of our high-quality timber products across markets, supporting the construction and manufacturing industries with essential materials.

Stack of treated lumber on MTO's Retreat Depot
Untreated pine lumber going into Kiln Dryer for treatment
Stack of lumber on the back of a truck in MTO's Retreat Depot
MTO Group Retreat Signage

Pull Scar Poleplant

Located in White River, Mpumalanga, our Pull Scar Facility has a Central Merchandising Depot that plays a pivotal role within our operations by focusing on enhancing the value of our trees and the resulting products, particularly poles. We supply a wide range of pole products which includes CCA- and Creosote treated poles. Our treated poles are suitable for structural netting poles and vineyard poles, primarily serving the agricultural sector. We produce treated poles suitable for construction, fencing, thatching, lapa structures, jungle gyms, lath panels, and garden edging. Moreover, Pull Scar specialises in producing utility poles essential for telecommunications, electrical power transmission lines, and the fibre sector. 

Our ownership of internationally accredited eucalyptus plantations within our business is a significant advantage, providing us with a substantial competitive edge in terms of supply, service, and meeting market demands.

CCA treated pole stack at Pull Scar
Eucalyptus logs in Pull Scar logyard
Pullscar Eucalyptus being harvested
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