Dick DeStefano is the Executive Director of Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA).
These past months have been difficult for the mining sector but Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA) members have maintained a high degree of confidence with some caution that their value and expertise will eventually mitigate against the prevailing and relentless bad news.
Many SAMSSA members have been in business for over 40 years and understand the cyclical nature of their markets. They have survived at least three major slowdowns and continue to operate.
In recent months SAMSSA Members have attended a number of trade shows and visits to mining camps in Mexico and Brazil in order to develop business relationships in the long term. Next week, Sudbury will host a company from Chile who needs to spend over $500 million on a mine development and the Potash Corporation is slowly moving forward on their potash mine in New Brunswick.
Working closely with the Export Development Corporation and FedNor as supporting partners will allow our mining supply and service sector to maintain its viability in the long term.
Perry Guilbault said; “We at Bull Powertrain in Sudbury were fortunate to attend the trade mission to Vale Brazil in the last few weeks. It was a great experience to see how they work in their environment and how optimistic they are in the future of mining. We can all learn a lesson about seeing the glass of water being half full!”
Tom Palangio, vice president of SAMSSA and President of Wipware, observed that this is the time to reach out to markets but with cost saving technologies and increase efficiencies. SAMSSA members are working vigorously in global markets applying these strategies.
The mining supply and service industry is a remarkably adaptive sector.
Mining supply companies are in the business of providing the necessary expertise and technology that will reduce overall costs and create efficiencies so the cost per ton can be reduced and profit margins can increase.
We all know that gold, silver, nickel, copper, aluminum, bauxite, iron ore and potash, to name a few, are essential and will always be in demand. The present crisis will soon pass but commodity prices will probably never reach former peaks.
Past president of SAMSSA, Mike Castron of Cast Resource has responded to the slow down, “We will do what we have always done in a slowdown and that is reduce our costs at home and double our sales efforts around the globe to increase/sustain sales. It has worked before and it will work again. Vendors who have diversified their sales around the globe and have strengthened their networking will increase their odds during these times of decreased metal prices.”
Jeff Fuller, president of SAMSSA and president of Fuller Industrial, said that SAMSSA players are better organized than ever before.
“By adding both product and geographical diversification we have been able to simultaneously grow our international presence and reduce our dependence on the local market.
Jeff added “We are better informed about market conditions. The quality of our applications/solutions has also grown significantly. We are already playing on the global field and look forward to the opportunities.”