Showtime in Las Vegas
Northern Ontario’s mining supply and service sector was out in full force at MINExpo in Las Vegas, September 22 to 24. Held every four years, the biggest mining show in the world attracted 41,000 delegates and 1,300 exhibitors.
Twenty-five Northern Ontario companies displayed their latest products and services on the world stage, but many more companies sent representatives to drum up business and meet customers.
Leading the delegation were Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development and Mines, and the mayors of Sudbury, Timmins and North Bay – John Rodriguez, Tom Laughren and Vic Fedeli.
Industrial Fabrication, a Sudbury-based manufacturer of underground utility vehicles reported making contacts with buyers from Australia, Mexico, Poland, South Africa and across North America. The company exhibited two pieces of equipment at its booth – a Minecat 100 utility tractor, and the brand new FL6000 mining forklift. Designed from the ground up for the underground environment, the forklift features a rigid frame design and comes equipped with wet disk brakes, four-wheel steering and a mine-grade wiring package.
“Some mining companies have had numerous tipovers with centre-articulated forklifts, so we decided to go with a rigid frame machine,” said company president Darryl Rautiainen.
“The show was very well-attended,” he said. “We were very pleased with the attendance and the quality of the people walking through the show.”
Denis Rienguette, general manager of Sudbury-based Marcotte Mining Machinery Services, was impressed by the number of international delegates and inquiries from distributors interested in representing the company in European and South American markets.
“We sat down with the Atlas Copco dealer in Russia and came to an understanding on how we can work with each other,” said Rienguette. “We have already started the process of setting up a dealership arrangement.”
Walter Siggelkow, of HLS Hard-Line Solutions, a company specializing in radio remote control systems, took advantage of MINExpo to introduce a repurposed Bobcat designed specifically for remote control operation. Stripped of an operator cab and all of the controls and gauges that go with it, the unit serves a platform that can be customized to perform a number of jobs via teleoperation from surface. The unit on display at the show was outfitted with both a bucket and an excavator arm for use in cleanup operations, a novel configuration that succeeded in stopping passersby, said Siggelkow.
“There were at least a half dozen companies at the show selling remote control systems, but not a lot of them were selling applications for them.”
Rezplast Manufacturing Limited, a manufacturer of a portable mining toilet that uses bacteria to break down human waste, reported strong interest from mining operations in Chile, Peru, Mexico and South Africa. Sudbury-based Rezplast saw sales take off following the introduction of the product at MINExpo 2004 and is in the process of lining up distributors in South America and Mexico to better serve the export market.
Speaking to representatives of mining supply and service companies at the official opening of the Ontario pavilion, Gravelle referred to the Northern Ontario mining supply and service sector as “an expanding critical mass of expertise,” as “an emporium for any mining company looking for a broad range of innovative products and services,” and as a “cauldron of creativity that develops products and services for every aspect of mining – from exploration to reclamation.”
Gravelle noted that the triangle of expertise formed by Greater Sudbury, Timmins and North Bay includes more than 425 mining supply and service companies, employing some 12,000 people “researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing the innovative products that improve the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of mining throughout the world.
“Our view is that mining is a major contributor to the province’s economy and our government wants to make sure it stays that way,” he added.
Describing Sudbury as the mining capital of the world, Mayor John Rodriguez said, “If anyone wants to know anything about mining, you come to Sudbury. That’s who we are. We support you in what you’re doing and will always be there for you,” he told mining suppliers.
Timmins Mayor Tom Laughren pointed out that his city will celebrate its 100th year of mining next year. He noted that Timmins has produced more than 65 million ounces of gold since the establishment of the mining camp in 1909 and that some 90 mining exploration companies are currently active in the community.
Acknowledging the co-operation of the province and the three cities in promoting the region’s mining supply and service sector, North Bay Mayor Vic Fedeli said, “It doesn’t matter where it happens. Whether it’s North Bay, Sudbury or Timmins – as long as it happens in Northern Ontario because what’s good for one is good for all.”
Tagged Australia, Bobcat, Canada, Darryl Rautiatien, Denis Rienguette, FL6000 mining forklift, Greater Sudbury, Industrial Fabrication, John Rodriguez, Las Vegas, Marcotte Mining Machinery, Mexico, Michael Gravelle, MINExpo, Mining, Minister of Northern Development, North America, North Bay, Northern Development and Mines, Northern Ontario, Northern Ontario Business, Ontario, Poland, Rezplast Manufacturing, Russia, South Africa, Sudbury, Timmins, Tom Laughren, Vic Fedeli, Walter Siggelkow