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Unique mining facility gives NORCAT the edge

March 7, 2019
by Len Gillis
In: News, Skills & Knowledge

NORCAT CEO Don Duval said his mining skills training and demonstration facility in Sudbury has a step up on other facilities because of the fact NORCAT has a fully operational underground mine where new technologies can be tested and showcased in a truly authentic setting. Duval was speaking Monday at the annual Prospectors and Developers convention being held in Toronto this week. LEN GILLIS / Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal 2019

Sudbury facility is a global leader for training and demonstrating mining technology

Don Duval, the CEO of the Sudbury-based NORCAT mining skills training centre said this week that his facility is often the place where the builders of new mining technology get to prove their products and services to the buyers of technology.

He said the fact that NORCAT also has a fully operating underground mine to showcase new products and services makes all the difference for innovators and buyers.

Duval was speaking and promoting the Sudbury facility before an international audience at the annual Prospectors and Developers convention being held in Toronto this week. He was one of a series of speakers featured in the Northern Ontario Mining Showcase, which is the largest pavilion in what has become the largest mining and prospecting convention in the world.

Duval said aside from being a global leader for skills training for mining and other resource industries, NORCAT aspires to be the one-stop-shop for all that is the future of mining technology and innovation.

He said the one thing that sets NORCAT apart from all the others is that is has the operational mine in  Greater Sudbury, located in Onaping, where mining production is a secondary concern.

“We use the facility as a place where mining technology companies can come, develop, test and once commercialized, use the underground mine as a place to demonstrate and showcase emerging technologies,” said Duval.

But just because there is a new or innovative piece of mining machinery or a service on the market, it doesn’t mean that mining companies will instantly buy that technology.

Duval said one of the key inhibitors of getting a product to market is the mining executive, from the level of mine managers all the way through to the boardroom.

He said they want to take the risk out of buying, installing and adopting new technology.

“They want to see it, touch it and feel it,” said Duval.

He said that’s where NORCAT can shine by having the new product or service demonstrated and working in the actual mining environment.

“That will then drive the sales of this company. It will enhance commercialization, it will build their brand. We become that broker and connector bringing the buyers of innovation with the builders of innovation to see these technologies in an operating mine environment,” said Duval.

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