The mining supply and service sector in Northern Ontario is about to undergo a significant change.
For years, the organization known as SAMSSA – the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association – has represented scores of companies that provide essential goods and services to the mining industry.
Going back some 15 years, SAMSSA represented many of the key businesses in Sudbury. Over the years, those companies grew and prospered. They branched out, to serve mining communities across the North. At the same time, mining related businesses across the North branched out as well, many of them bidding on contracts with the larger mines in Sudbury.
Paul Bradette, the acting executive director at SAMSSA, said the mining supply and service group has become an economic engine for Northern Ontario in its own right.
Bradette said one of the key reasons for rebranding was the perception that SAMSSA represented Sudbury businesses to the detriment of other mining supply and service companies across Northern Ontario.
“That is the biggest concern. A year and a half ago, I surveyed non-SAMSSA members outside our jurisdiction and 92 per cent said they would not favour a membership until such time the name was more representative of all of Northern Ontario and the jurisdictions they operated in.”
In view of that he said SAMSSA is rebranding itself with a formal name change. Bradette said the Sudbury-based name served the organization well in the early years, but with so many clients and mining related businesses located in all parts of Northern, it is the right thing to do.
“We want to increase our economic horsepower and to do that, we need to capture all of Northern Ontario,” Bradette said.
“We’ve always looked at it. The board made a conscious effort that this needs to be a pan-Northern organization. It needs to represent all of Northern Ontario and with us as the single voice.”
Bradette said that is one of the reasons why SAMSSA has reached out in the past year to get more representation on the board of directors from a wider area of the North.
“We need to bring this collective horsepower of all of these companies and all the economic development agencies, along with Energy Northern Development and Mines (ENDM), they’re all representative of Northern Ontario. We need to be there as well,” he added.
“So we’ve come up with a new name. We’ve come up with a new logo, with new colours and everything. So that is going to be revealed on March 2nd at PDAC (Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada.” Bradette declined to hint at the new name or brand saying everything would be revealed at the prospectors’ convention.
Bradette said the PDAC announcement would be appropriate since a large number of SAMSSA members would be in attendance along with a large number of prospective new members.