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Hard-Line Solutions honoured for excellence

HLS Hard-Line Solutions was one of several mining suppliers to be honoured at the 25th annual Northern Ontario Business Awardsgala September 27th.The Sudbury company, which picked up an award in the Company of the Year – 16 to 50-employee category, designs, manufactures, installs and services radio remote control systems for mining and other applications.“In business, you can’t stop driving,” company president Walter Siggelkow said. “You have to continuously keep going, whether it’s innovating and putting new products out, or looking for new ways to find clients.”

Siggelkow estimated 60 per cent of his business is done in Canada, while the remaining 40 per cent is comprised of exports to countries in Africa, South America and Australia. Four years ago, HLS opened an office in Peru.

The company is currently working on technology that allows it to refurbish mine shafts in situ, a world first. Instead of shutting down the mine while the work is done, a team enters the shaft in between shifts. The mining company doesn’t have to interrupt production and still completes the required maintenance.

CEMI

The Judges’ Choice Award went to the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation (CEMI). With seed funding from Vale, Xstrata Nickel and the Ontario government, CEMI has guided numerous ideas off the shelf and into practice since 2007.

CEMI recently received a $2.24-million grant to advance the Smart Underground Monitoring and Integrated Technologies (SUMIT) for Deep Mining program and an $823,000 grant to establish a Research Chair for Holistic Mining Practices.

The SUMIT program is designed to bring together the best researchers from Laurentian University, Queen’s University and the University of Toronto to work on smart engineering technologies that will reduce costs and increase efficiencies in deep mine development.

The role of Research Chair for Holistic Mining Practices has been awarded to CEMI vice-president Douglas Morrison, who will help shape the future leadership of the organization in addition to providing guidance on a new, holistic approach to mining.

Rather than focusing solely on the technical and mechanical aspects of mining, a holistic approach takes into account cost reduction, safety, the environment, permits, First Nations issues and more.

CEMI has also attracted $10 million in funding to develop the Rio Tinto Centre for Underground Mine Construction to conduct research into speeding up mine development.

DST Consulting

Winning the Innovation Award was DST Consulting Engineers Inc. of Thunder Bay.

Now celebrating its 40th year in business, the Thunder Bay geotechnical and environmental engineering firm is well-known for its outstanding ability in the field.

The company’s dedication to find practical and cost-effective solutions for its clients keeps staff busy with mining and environmental projects in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia.

With branch offices in Ottawa, Sudbury, Kenora, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, Winnipeg and Edmonton, the company boasts a combined workforce of 120.

This past summer, DST Consulting won a second consecutive provincial award of excellence from the Consulting Engineers of Ontario.

This most recent award was based on DST’s use of a patented slope stabilization method at the Garden River First Nation east of Sault Ste. Marie.

The company successfully stabilized a 500-metre section of roadway that was experiencing ongoing land sliding and cracking by ‘nailing it together’ using DST’s patented Soil Nail and Root Technology.

Known as the SNART system, it involves installing thousands of steel bars into the bank to bind the soil together and anchor the slope in place. The bank can be stabilized without disturbing the natural vegetation or aquatic life.

The technique was first applied more than a decade ago to deal with an eroding bank on the Kaministiquia River in Thunder Bay.

“Using the soil nail technology we don’t need to reconstruct (a river bank) and there’s less pollution with dust, carbon emissions and sedimentation into the river” which can affect a fragile eco-system,” said senior principal and partner, Dr. Myint Win Bo.

NOBA has become the largest annual gathering of its kind in Northern Ontario since it was first launched in 1986. The event rotates annually among the five major centres in Northern Ontario.

Full winner profiles and video vignettes can be viewed at www.noba.ca

The 26th Annual Northern Ontario Business Awards in 2012 will be held in Timmins on October 3 and 4, 2012.

 

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