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MINExpo pays off for Northern Ontario suppliers

November 15, 2012
by Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal
In: News

Rene Fink, president of Trident Mining Services, with the M-510 Transmixer.

The odds are rarely in your favour playing the slots or the gaming tables in Vegas, but it was a different story at the Las Vegas Convention Center for some 35 to 40 Northern Ontario suppliers exhibiting their wares at MINExpo, the world’s biggest mining show, September 24 to 26.

In post-show interviews, suppliers from Sudbury, Timmins and North Bay gushed about the volume of quality leads – and sales, in some cases – directly attributed to the show.

“We came home with dozens and dozens and dozens of leads to follow up on,” boasted Rene Fink, president of Trident Mining Services in Timmins.

“There were five of us in the booth plus one interpreter, and more often than not, all of us were tied up and had people waiting to speak to us.”

Trident has made a name for itself as a manufacturer of haul trucks for underground applications, but exhibited a 5.1 cubic metre transmixer at its booth in Vegas.

“The market for haul trucks in the 12 to 21-tonne range has been minimal in the last few years, so I asked myself ‘What’s the next big thing in mining?’ It’s shotcrete, so I thought why don’t I make my truck into a shotcrete hauler?

Kevin Fitzsimmons, president of RDH Mining Equipment, manning the RDH booth at MINExpo.

“From the centre hinge forward, it’s the same vehicle. The engine, the transmission and the operator’s compartment don’t change, so we used our haul truck frame, stretched it, bought a drum and now we have a shotcrete hauler.”

The transmixer can also accommodate a seven cubic metre drum, and for customers that don’t need a mixer 12 months of the year, Trident can also supply the back end of a dump truck, allowing the client to unpin the mixer and turn the piece of equipment into a 20-tonne haul truck.

“That’s something that most of my competition can’t do,” said Fink.

Trident built two M-510 transmixers on spec. One went to MINExpo. The other one was snapped up by Lake Shore Gold in Timmins.

RDH Mining Equipment of Alban, 50 kilometres south of Sudbury, also reported positive results from the show.

“There was a lot of interest in our Muckmaster 800D, 8-yard scoop,” said RDH president Kevin Fitzsimmons.

“The first day of the show, you couldn’t even get by the aisle there were so many people. We quoted about 75 to 80 customers, so we’re hoping something comes out of it.”

Rail-veyor Technologies sales manager Joe Einarson with Mark Frayne of KGHM International (formerly QuadraFNX) at the Rail-veyor booth.

According to Fitzsimmons, just over half of the leads came from U.S.-based mining operations. The remaining leads were equally split between Canadian and international buyers.

The eight-yard loader on display at the RDH booth is one of the first LHDs in the industry to be equipped with a lower emission Tier 4 engine and opens the door to a much broader market for the company, which has traditionally focused on equipment for narrow vein mines.

The Rail-veyor Technologies’ booth was also a beehive of activity.

“We had a significant amount of traffic through the booth looking at our technology and we’re following up on the leads and the contacts we made,” said Rail-veyor Technologies interim CEO Ronald Russ. “We had CEOs of mining companies, operational managers, a lot of engineering houses and mining companies for commodities like coal, potash and copper that you don’t see in Sudbury. It was absolutely positive.”

Some of the contacts, said Russ, are looking to solve immediate operational needs and will be coming to Sudbury for a close-up view of the test track at Vale’s Frood-Stobie complex and the installation at Vale’s 114 Orebody.

A cross between a railroad and a conveyor system, the railveyor is an innovative material handling solution for both surface and underground applications.

The next MINExpo is scheduled for September 2016.

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