A Growing Regional System of Mining Innovation in Northern Ontario – by Dick DeStefano

Dick DeStefano - Executive Director SAMSSADick DeStefano is the Executive Director of Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA). His column was originally published in Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal, a magazine that showcases the mining expertise of North Bay, Timmins and Sudbury.

Dick DeStefano

“We are reaching a point where the mining supply industry in Sudbury and Northern Ontario is as important for the global mining industry as the orebodies. This is exemplified by the fact that the large mining firms located in the area expend on average 80 per cent of their supply dollars locally as compared to 30 per cent anywhere else in the world”.

-Professor Jean-Charles Cachon, Laurentian University, Sudbury, July 2008

This reliance on the local supply sector translates into an estimated $750 million spent on a local basis, annually.

A recent comparative study entitled Innovation, Marketing & Management Strategies among Mining Supply Firms: A Comparison between Canada & Chile (Antofagasta) written by Jean–Charles Cachon and Huguette Blanco, School of Commerce & Administration, Faculty of Management, Laurentian University, demonstrates again that the Sudbury mining cluster is a world leader.

The study, completed in June of 2008, compared strategies for innovation, marketing, and management, including human resources training, financing and quality control.

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SAMSSA Welcomes Global Mining Partners – by Dick DeStefano

Dick DeStefano - Executive Director of SAMSSADick DeStefano is the Executive Director of Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSSA). Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal showcases the mining expertise of North Bay, Timmins and Sudbury. (This column was orginally published June/2007)

Sudbury has become a global shopping destination for mining visitors in the past few months, especially from South Africa, Brazil and Chile.

“The attraction to our SAMSSA members is overwhelming and exciting to see and augers well for the future of Sudbury and all of Northern Ontario,” said Jeff Fuller, Treasurer of the SAMSSA Board and President of Fuller Industrial.

More than 50 business and government visitors from South Africa’s North West Province, Brazil and Chile have visited SAMSSA members and Sudbury academic institutions in one of the most active months in the history of the Sudbury Area Mining Supply & Service Association’s four-year existence.

Sudbury has become a destination point for mining industry people looking for equipment, technology and talent, and SAMSSA members are one of the main attractions for these global visitors.

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Sudbury-North Bay Mining Supply Corridor Growing – Dick DeStefano

The Sudbury Mining Supply Journal gave Republic of Mining.com permission to post Dick DeStefano’s column. This Sudbury-based magazine showcases the mining expertise of North Bay, Timmins and Sudbury.

Dick DeStefano

What do the City of Greater Sudbury and North Bay have in common that make them unique within the global mining context?

The simple answer is they anchor a corridor which includes 415 mining supply and service companies who market their tools, talent and technology domestically and internationally.

The Northern Ontario corridor of mining suppliers is known worldwide in all mining circles as the centre of mining excellence based on products and expertise that, in some cases, stretch over 40 years of refinements and production of quality work in the field.

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Need Recognition for Mining Supply and Service Companies – Dick DeStefano

Dick DeStefano - Executive Director of SAMSSAI had the good fortune to spend a day with mining colleagues and mining supply and service leaders in a workshop in Sudbury sponsored by NORCAT and The Conference Board of Canada to discuss the lack of recognition and the importance of mining and related services within the national and provincial political context.

It was clear that mining as a national strategic asset receives little acknowledgement from all senior levels of government. Note the recent mining takeovers. What is more distressing is the almost total dismissal of the mining supply side within policy discussions.

It is frustrating to sit in rational discussion about industries that generate jobs and innovative products to a booming natural resource sector and find that all Canadian related mining services/products can’t be catalogued and identified within government statistics and profiles.

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Ontario’s Mining Supply Companies Need Strategic Govenment Investments – Dick DeStefano

Dick DeStefano - Executive Director of SAMSSAMining as a national asset seems to have fallen of the table. Not one substantial government document or study that has been produced places any real value on the mining industry or its strategic importance to the Canadian economy.

There are few restrictions on foreign takeovers and the entire sector is rarely placed under the microscope and examined as a “natural asset” that needs to be given serious protection as international brokers and banks play ownership games with resource companies around the world.

The Competition Policy Review Panel – Sharpening Canada’s Edge – is beginning a consultation on investment policies and how Canada can become a destination for talent, capital and innovation.

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Dick DeStefano and the birth of SAMSSA – Stan Sudol (Part B)

Fuller Industrial PhotoSudbury Mining Supply and Service Industry is Enormous

More money is spent within a 500-kilometer radius of Sudbury on underground hard-rock mining supplies than anywhere else in Canada, the United States or Chile. In 2006, Inco alone spent over $400 million on local supplies and services. That figure will only grow with the announcement to bring the Totten Mine into production as well as the Creighton Deep and Copper Cliff Deep projects. Xstrata Nickel is building Nickel Rim South, while FNX Mining will be bringing the Podolsky mine into production in 2008, just to mention a few other initiatives.

One of the main aspects of SAMSSA is the global nature of the organization. During its first year, DeStefano made contacts with 125 embassies focusing on their trade commissioners and government agencies who might have been interested in partnerships or distributorships.

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Dick DeStefano and the Birth of SAMSSA – Stan Sudol (Part A)

SAMSSA Members in Antofagasta, Chile (2004); Dick DeStefano, SAMSSA; Andre Ruest, B&D Manufacturing; Norbert Hoffman, Novenco; Ivania Misetic, Chilean Economic Development AgencyWhile southern Ontario manufacturing and auto industries are under severe economic stress due to the high dollar, competition from China and a U.S. recession, Sudbury’s cluster of mining supply and service (MS&S) companies are growing, exporting their products and technical expertise around the world.

Due to their success and economic clout, the local mining suppliers formed an industry association in 2003 called the Sudbury Area Mining Supply Services Association (SAMSSA) that also has members from North Bay and Timmins. The three communities supply about 35% of mining supply and services in Canada – the second largest concentration in the country.

SAMSSA Executive Director Dick DeStefano says, “Unfortunately, the Sudbury cluster has not been recognized by the provincial government as an important manufacturing centre. In the last three years the local cluster, including North Bay and Timmins have been exporting their products around the world, significantly increasing their revenues and regional employment.”

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