Northern Survey Supply takes Miner Operated Survey System to world stage
Northern Survey Supply (NSS) has teamed up with Tuscon, Arizona-based Hexagon Mining to go global with its Miner Operated Survey System (MOSS).
A division of the €3.8 billion Stockholm, Sweden-based Hexagon AB, Hexagon Mining has a large portfolio of products for underground mining and offices in Chile, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Indonesia, India, South Africa and Europe. Its lone Canadian office is in Vancouver.
To date, NSS has approximately 20 deployments of MOSS. “For example, we just finished Goldcorp,” said Bruno Lalonde, general manager of NSS. “We’re currently implementing at Voisey’s Bay for Vale and we will be starting to implement MOSS at Vale Sudbury operations in January.”
The relationship with Hexagon will now allow NSS to generate sales globally.
“Bruno and Marty (Warkentin, president and CEO of NSS) came to us through two or three different channels,” said Carl Brackpool, corporate product manager and director of innovation for Hexagon Mining. “They did a demo for our office in Vancouver and for our director of sales for NAFTA.
“Are overbreak and underbreak really a problem, I asked. He said, ‘Ya. The drillers tend to do what they’ve done for 20 years. If they just followed the plan we send them, we wouldn’t have over or underbreak.’ I told him about MOSS, went to the NORCAT experimental mine in Sudbury for a demonstration and was blown away. This digital transformation of overbreak and underbreak analysis at the working face saves so much time. I thought we definitely needed to partner with these guys.”
Miners perform the survey and overlay it on the mine plan using a tablet, allowing them “to understand in real time every round, every face and how it has broken,” Lalonde explained.
“Studies show that most mines are looking at an overbreak of 20 per cent. With MOSS, we’re able to bring that down to under 10 per cent, so there’s less waste and an immediate return on investment… The cost savings are huge. We’re not talking thousands. We’re talking millions.”
Hexagon Mining’s business model, said Brackpool, is to acquire best-in-class companies and not build products organically.
Companies acquired to date include Leica Geosystems; Mintec Inc., developer of MineSight, a geomodeling and mine planning software system; SAFEmine, of Bar, Switzerland, a developer of collision avoidance systems; Guardvant, a developer of fatigue monitoring and collision avoidance systems; Devex Mining of Belo Horizonte, Brazil; and MiPlan of Perth, Australia, a developer of mobile software applications for field data collection, fleet management, production management and reporting.
As part of the arrangement, NSS, which has offices in Mattawa and Sudbury, will also be able to sell the entire portfolio of Hexagon Mining products.