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Ontario makes splash at Latin American shows

Ontario mining suppliers participated in a series of trade shows across Latin America between June and October as part of an aggressive new export development initiative being carried out by the province’s Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.The busy trade show season began with Exponor in Antofagasta, Chile, June 13 to 17, continued through September with Extemin and Exposibram in Peru and Brazil, and concluded October 26 to 29 at Expominera in Acapulco, Mexico.Ontario’s more assertive posture was reflected in both the size and design of its booths at the four shows “to keep up with our competition – Australia, Germany and the United States,” said Paul Bradette, the ministry’s strategic sector co-ordinator for mining supplies and services.Ontario exhibitors, including engineering companies and underground equipment manufacturers, reported more than a million dollars in closed sales and more than $5 million of deals in the pipeline as a result of the shows.

Extemin, held in Arequippa, Peru, September 12 to 16, had more than 100,000 square metres of exhibit space and drew 51,000 delegates, qualifying it as the largest show in Latin America.

Peru has $42 billion worth of mining projects in the pipeline, “making it a market we have to continue to participate in,” said Bradette. With more mines in South America going underground, companies with mining projects in Chile and Peru will have greater need for the expertise and experience of Ontario supply and service companies, he noted.

“Even Codelco is transitioning to underground mining at Chuquicamata, the largest copper mine in the world,” said Bradette. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for us.”

Export Development Canada loans available to mining companies in Latin America for the purchase of Canadian supplies and services are also instrumental in clinching sales.

Through contacts made at Extemin, two incoming trade missions to northeastern Ontario are being planned to coincide with the PDAC International Convention and Trade Show in March. One is a mining company, the other a Peruvian contractor, JRC Ingeneria y Construccion, with 15 projects underway, said Bradette.

Ontario mining supply and service companies taking part in the four trade shows this year were able to take advantage of the province’s Export Marketing Assistance Program, which reimburses them for 50 per cent of eligible export marketing costs up to a maximum of $10,000 a year.

The ministry’s trade show plan for 2012 is expected to be announced at the PDAC and will more than likely include MINExpo in Las Vegas, September 24 to 26.


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