Archive | SAMSSA

Mining Super Cluster Denied But Doesn’t Deter Regional Expansion – by Dick DeStefano (March 2, 2018)

Dick DeStefano is the Executive Director of the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA).

I am disappointed by the Canadian Federal Government’s recent decision to ignore a request by CEMI and CMIC and multiple partners to grow our mining and related sector in Canada. It was not chosen as a priority in their Super Cluster competition and remains on the fringe of the government agenda.

But the results will not deter the existing cluster to move its agenda forward in the next years and expand its presence in the global market. A significant effort has been invested in establishing a viable infrastructure and cooperative effort by multiple partners within Northern Ontario and that effort will continue as we move forward.

It’s not a lack of information because our review indicates that over 20 profiles have been published in the past two years and the case study recently released by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities illustrates the shift from an extractive mining sector to a world class mining intelligence sector. Continue Reading →

MEDIA RELEASE: Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity Report Overlooks Sudbury’s World-Class Mining Clusters

Sudbury is the Silicon Valley of underground mining research

Nickel Belt – (July 6, 2016): The Toronto-based Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity recently issued a report titled “Clusters in Ontario: Creating an ecosystem for prosperity” that, in the opinion of industry experts, overlooks Sudbury’s vibrant mining clusters.

Industrial clusters are interrelated businesses in compact geographical regions that are supported by educational, research and government institutions which enhance economic growth, prosperity and innovation through value-added manufacturing and internal/external exports.

Marc Serré, Nickel Belt MP and a member of The National Standing Committee on Natural Resources says, “Sudbury’s dynamic mining clusters are a globally unique concentration of Canadian hard-rock expertise and innovation, unique in North America and found in very few other cities around the world. My fear is that federal and provincial policy experts and politicians will read this report and assume any requests for multi-million dollar strategic investments for Sudbury to further enhance educational or research aspects would not be warranted.” Continue Reading →

Sombre, reflective tone at SAMSSA’s AGM – by Ella Myers (Northern Ontario Business – Decemeber 4, 2015)

The Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Services Association (SAMSSA) welcomed a new president, two new board members and inducted two local businessmen into their respected Hall of Fame at their December 4 annual general meeting.

A crowd representing 110 of the organization’s 125 members stood in silence for the commencement of the meeting, out of respect for one of the Hall of Fame recipients, Andre Ruest of B&D Manufacturing, who passed away Nov.19.

“He was a great guy for me, always open to suggestions, I will sadly miss him, and we will honour his life and celebrate him at the end of the presentation today,” said executive director Dick DeStefano. Continue Reading →

Paul Marcotte acknowledged for mining contributions – by Lindsay Kelly (Northern Ontario Business – January 7, 2015)

Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.

Starting out as a 20-year-old female in the mining supply and service industry, Alicia Woods would sometimes be met with skepticism by those who doubted her knowledge and questioned her place in the industry. That all disappeared when people learned her dad was Paul Marcotte.

“It was because of the credibility of the Marcotte name, and the respect that the industry had for my father, that made it easy for me to enter such a non-traditional role in the world of heavy underground equipment,” Woods said.

Marcotte, a founder of Marcotte Mining Machinery Services, was recognized posthumously by the Sudbury Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA) with an induction into the Hall of Fame Dec. 4, along with Doug Smith, the founder of Manitoulin Transport.

Marcotte was born in Quebec, but grew up in Sudbury, and entered the industry with his father at Jarvis Clark before the family — dad Raymond and brothers Paul, Raymond, Pierre and John — forged out on its own with Marcotte Mining in 1979.

As business grew, the company went from repairing and rebuilding equipment manufactured by others to becoming a successful original equipment manufacturer (OEM), with the company offering new design and manufacturing options, Woods said. Continue Reading →

Marcotte, Smith in Sudbury hall of fame – by Ben Leeson (Sudbury Star – December 10, 2014)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Many years after he passed away, Paul Marcotte helped his daughter, Alicia Woods, get started in the mining industry.

Wood was only 13, a Grade 8 student, when Marcotte, who helped found Marcotte Mining Machinery with his father and brothers in the late 1970s, lost his life unexpectedly in 1992, at just 37 years of age.

“Growing up, I would go to work with him and I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” Woods recalled. “But then he passed away and his company was sold to another company in southern Ontario, so I honestly thought that opportunity would not be there.”

She did take an alternate route initially and pursued a career as a teacher, but eventually found part-time, then full-time work in the mining supply and service sector.

Woods now works as sales director for MacLean Engineering, which designs and builds heavy equipment for the mining industry. She also founded Covergalls, a company specializing in workwear for women.

“You’re a young, 20-something female walking onto a mine site and it’s like, ‘What does she know about mining?'” Continue Reading →

Boldly Building a Silicon Valley in Canada… for Mining – by Joe Lee (Tech – December 1, 2014)

Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Montreal, and Vancouver are all recognized tech clusters in Canada. But the story around a new hub in Sudbury, Ontario can be traced back to a round of golf between Kirk Petroski, the CEO of Symboticware, and Dick DeStefano, the Executive Director of SAMSSA (Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association), where Petroski urged DeStefano to speak to MaRS about mining innovation.

As some VCs and consultants have argued, building the next Silicon Valley means a community should not try to replicate the Valley, but that the community should work towards differentiation and being the best in a specific domain. By all accounts, Greater Sudbury, home to approximately 160,000 and a major producer of nickel, is on its way to becoming the Silicon Valley of underground mining technology.

While the formation of the cluster may be an anomaly, the growth trajectory and development direction are not. These two points became abundantly clear when DeStefano, a self-professed disciple of Harvard Business School’s Michael Porter’s theories, shared his vision of turning Sudbury into an underground mining ecosystem and his journey as one of the pioneers.

Builders, Leaders and Feeders

“In 2001, I took myself out of retirement, researched the Sudbury community, and looked at companies. I tracked them down and invited them to get together. Only six people showed up to first meeting,” DeStefano recounts the early days of his mission to focus Sudbury’s talent and energy in mining supply and technology. Continue Reading →

Managing Mining Intelligence – the SAMSSA Solution – by Dick DeStefano (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal -September 2014)

Dick DeStefano is the Executive Director of Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association  (SAMSSA).  [email protected]  This column was originally published in the September 2014 issue of Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal.

When the Sudbury Area Mining Supply & Service Association (SAMSSA) was created in 2003 the founding fathers were looking for something of added value to assist member companies in improving their markets and business opportunities.

The idea of just having an association focused on a social environment offering coffee club meetings and the odd golf tournament and even a hard cover catalogue with direct mailing didn’t meet their needs in a rapidly growing digital age.

One of the most common comments was that the proliferation of industry news and global markets analyses was becoming overwhelming, contradictory and almost impossible to manage. In the process of developing this new service SAMSSA outlined its mandate which stated:

Mission – “Provide the most innovative and highest quality mining supply/products/services for domestic and worldwide markets.” Continue Reading →

SAMSSA: Sudbury lagging in business development – by Jonathan Migneault (Sudbury Northern Life – July 05, 2014)

Sudbury is lagging behind other Northeastern Ontario cities when it comes to attracting new business in the mining supply and services sector, said the executive director of the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association.

Dick DeStefano said North Bay, in particular, has done more to attract small and medium sized mining businesses through tax incentives and new municipal industrial parks.

In a recent column, he challenged Sudbury’s municipal politicians – both current and upcoming – to develop a strategy to open the city for business. “What’s the political strategy to attract new business?” he asked.

North Bay, he said, reduced its industrial taxes by 66 per cent a few years ago, and eliminated its industrial development charges.

“I think it’s one of the tools we keep in our toolbox in terms of remaining competitive,” said Erin Richmond, North Bay’s manager of economic development. “We have to always think about different ways we can incent development.”

Last year, the City of North Bay took an extra step to encourage business development, and opened its new 600-acre Airport Industrial Business Park. Continue Reading →

[Sudbury] Stantec exec ‘living the dream’- by Laura Stricker (Sudbury Star – April 22, 2014)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Local boy Mike Mayhew is responsible for creating and sustaining relationships in the mining industry worldwide. At Stantec, where he works, more than 450 people in 20 countries are employed in the sector. Close to 300 of those are based in Sudbury.

The 42-year-old is a busy guy – never too busy, though, to play the guitar. Leaning against a bookcase the instrument is within easy reach of his office chair. “I’m living the dream here,” Mayhew says, beaming. Earlier this month he was made the sector leader/director for global mining, a new position at Stantec.

“As the sector leader of Canadian operations, I’m responsible for growing and nurturing our relationships in the mining sector and looking for other opportunities to grow and expand our business and tap into all the other services that Stantec offers to our clients,” he explains.

“If they’re looking for mining support and expertise, we have that. If they’re looking for environmental support and expertise, we have that. We have building infrastructure, we have project management, we (can) tap into expertise around the world. Continue Reading →

FedNor invests in snag-removing robot – by Ben Leeson (Sudbury Star – March 5, 2014)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

Penguin Automated Systems got a big shot in the robotic arm this week. The Greater Sudbury firm received $1 million from the federal government, via FedNor, to develop and commercialize its new Hang-up Assessment and Removal Robotic System, designed for use in the mining industry both here and abroad.

Greg Rickford, minister of state for science and technology and for FedNor, announced the funding on Monday, much to the delight of Greg Baiden, chief executive at Penguin ASI.

“The funding is really helpful,” said Baiden, reached on Tuesday. “The timing is really great for our business. It’s going to help us create a new product that is in need around the world today, so it’s really quite something.”

Penguin’s remote-controlled hangup assessment and removal system is designed to address safety hazards in managing rock hangups, as the robot will be able to enter confined spaces, measure, drill and load explosives for remote detonation. Continue Reading →

MEDIA RELEASE: SAMSSA Welcomes New President Mike Mayhew

February 20 2014

Mike Mayhew was introduced at the SAMSSA Annual Meeting on December 4, 2013 as the new President for the next two years.

Mike was interviewed and responded with some further insights in his new role:

1. What background do you bring to the new leadership role as President of SAMSSA?

I am very fortunate and have a number of areas to draw from that put me in a favourable position as the new President of SAMSSA. Being nominated as the President of SAMSSA is truly an honour for me.

I have over 20+ years in the mining industry with a diversified background. I have a post-graduate degree in Mining Engineering and have worked for Toyota Canada, Inco, Atlas Copco, MacLean Engineering, and Rock-Tech previous to my current role as Director, Global Mining for Stantec Consulting Ltd.

I am an accomplished bilingual Executive with a proven track record for producing high results in a competitive industry. My passion is to build teams and I have a history of consistently growing business in the mining sector. Continue Reading →

SAMSSA celebrates ten years, 2003-2013 – by Dick DeStefano (Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal – February 2014)

Dick DeStefano is the Executive Director of Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA). [email protected]  This column was originally published in the February 2014 issue of Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal.

After 10 years of effort and service, the Sudbury Mining Supply & Service Association (SAMSSA) has become a significant presence in the Northern Ontario mining cluster.

SAMSSA’s annual meeting on December 4th was a testament to the association’s success, attracting 175 representatives from its 140-strong membership of corporate and associated companies and agencies.

There were two special honourees, the announcement of a new board of directors, and the attendance of Vale executives who announced the return of a local purchasing team to Sudbury, much to the pleasure of the audience.

SAMSSA has created a dynamic forum for it members to not only market and promote their expertise globally, but also to establish a community or network to further the members’ common goals. Continue Reading →

Sudbury software company provides real-time mine safety data – by Jonathan Migneault (Sudbury Northern Life – February 10, 2014)

Northern Ontario mining operations could become more efficient and safe thanks to an improved solution developed by a Sudbury-based software company.

Symboticware received a $100,000 grant from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation to develop an improved version of its SymView software, which allows mining companies to access important data, such as machinery performance and ground stability, in real-time.

The grant will cover about 40 per cent of the cost to develop and implement the software solution, said Symboticware’s president and CEO Kirk Petroski. “The money will allow us to basically have the resources internally staffed to build this new software,” Petroski told Northern Life.

The remaining $150,000 for the project was provided by industry partners and Symboticware’s own investments in research and development. “To me it’s a very good market opportunity,” Petroski said about the project. “It provides reliable data, it provides real-time data and it’s manageable.” Continue Reading →

Women in Mining in Canada: Changing the Mining Industry – by Dick DeStefano (February 3, 2014)

Dick DeStefano is the Executive Director of Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association  (SAMSSA). [email protected] 

One of most current issues in the mining community is the growing population of professional women who are actively participating in the mining work force globally.

I recently wrote an article entitled, “What Would We Do Without Women in Mining?” describing an organization recently reconstructed and reorganized into an association called Modern Mining & Technology Sudbury. This association introduces a week-long event outlining the importance of mining to over 1000 elementary and high school students.

It has become increasingly obvious as the association grows in size and structure that professional women in mining are not only leading the way in their daily mining responsibilities but specifically the 14 women on the 21 member committee are developing educational awareness on the importance of the industry through multiple interactive activities at this event. The association is hoping to target more young women considering a profession in a growing and important sector. These 14 women brought their daily experience to the Modern Mining & Technology Sudbury event. Continue Reading →

BRAZIL’S VISION: BUILD HUMAN CAPACITY IN SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY: Impacting Laurentian University – by Dick DeStefano (January 2014)

Dick DeStefano is the Executive Director of Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association  (SAMSSA). [email protected] 

Science without Borders (SwB)

Funded primarily by the Brazilian Government, the SwB scholarship program was launched in July 2011. The program to send 101,000 Brazilian students to study internationally in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects by 2015. The Government of Brazil is funding 75,000 scholarships and a further 26,000 are being funded by the private sector.

During his official visit to the Federative Republic of Brazil from April 22 to 28, 2012, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, announced that Canada will welcome 12,000 Brazilian students at the undergraduate, doctoral and post-doctoral levels under the SwB program by 2015.

I would like to applaud the vision and commitment Brazil has demonstrated by implementing such an innovative and brilliant strategy that will make them a major force within the next decade in the global marketplace.

In the past ten years as executive director of SAMSSA I have attended workshops and seminars lamenting the lack of solutions we have in Canada to rebuild our human capacity and solve our long term need for new highly skilled personnel. The Brazilians are showing us that the answer lies in a concentrated investment in its newest generation of undergraduate students. Continue Reading →