Make Mining Links | Mining
A new incubator project to connect mining companies in Canada and Nevada kicked off this winter when MineConnect USA opened the doors to its new offices in Elko on December 1st.
The offices at 905 West Main Street are a place for Northern Ontario mining companies to set up shop while they explore Nevada mine sites and connect with miners in the state.
Sheena Hansen is the Director of Strategic Development for MineConnect USA and will provide operational, strategic, analytical and systematic skills to support the challenges and opportunities facing the mining industry. She looks forward to connecting Canadian mining suppliers and service providers with the Nevada mining sector to fill gaps and find solutions.
This project to stimulate networking between Ontario companies with Nevada mines, suppliers and service providers is an idea that has been around for many years.
Northeast Nevada Regional Development Authority Executive Director Sheldon Mudd and Paul Bradette of the Ontario Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines are working to develop the MineConnect-Nevada relationship since 2015, when Mudd served as a mining specialist in the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economics. Development.
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Mudd said Northern Ontario is known as a “global powerhouse” within the mining industry and home to dozens of world leaders in mining technology and manufacturing. So it made sense to encourage more connections between Northern Ontario and Nevada, another engine of the mining industry.
“From an economic development perspective, it’s absolutely phenomenal,” Mudd said.
“Nevada’s mining industry has struggled for years to fill various gaps within its supply chain; we are thrilled to have leading companies from a world-class mining district establishing their U.S.-based operations right here locally, where they can provide goods and services that have traditionally been difficult to source,” said Mudd.
“I am very pleased to welcome MineConnect to Nevada, a non-profit organization that will enhance one of our most important industries,” Governor Steve Sisolak said when announcing MineConnect USA in January 2021. relationship beneficial. I look forward to introducing Canadian companies to our state, which will greatly improve the supply chain of our mining industry.
There are approximately 900 mining supply and service companies in Northern Ontario. About 220 of these companies are members of MineConnect, which is a not-for-profit association. The MineConnect USA project was established under the auspices of the Northern Ontario Economic Development Corporation with financial support from several sources, including FedNor and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.
MineConnect executive director Marla Tremblay said MineConnect reached out to its members to explain the concept of MineConnect USA, saying, “If you’re interested in growing in Nevada beyond just selling, but having a physical presence there and/or by getting a distributor, then here is a great opportunity for you, and we are here to help you.
MineConnect USA is starting as a three-year project, and the plan is to have 10 Northern Ontario companies at a time participating in the program, with each company having approximately one year to work on their connections to the Nevada mining industry. .
Companies that applied to be part of the first group of 10 were evaluated to see how suitable they might be for the MineConnect USA project. Mudd and representatives from mining companies, including Kinross and Barrick, participated in the selection.
“They were involved in the evaluation process to make sure we’re filling in the gaps, meeting the needs of the market, rather than sending companies where there’s already a ton of competition,” Tremblay said. “We don’t want to set up our businesses for failure, or send people out there to compete with your own businesses.
“We are here to help fill the gaps and, on the one hand, benefit companies, as they will have potential expansion opportunities. And also, if they open offices in Nevada, they fill the identified gaps, which means jobs in Nevada, and support local communities, the economy, and bring new taxes to Nevada.
The ten Northern Ontario companies selected to participate in the first year of the MineConnect USA project are Walden Equipment, The Hurley Group, Nordic Minesteel Technologies, NORCAT, Inovinta, Jannatec Technologies, Maestro Digital Mine, Hard-Line, Rock-Tech and Symboticware. .
MineConnect USA’s offices are in the former Barrick office building in Elko, which is now the Shared Business Center. Northern Ontario mining companies participating in the incubator program will not have an ongoing office presence, but they will use office space in a way that best suits them to connect with companies Nevada mines. Some of the Ontario companies may periodically send people to use the offices while they are in Nevada, and some may send someone to the Elko office for a week or two to work on establishing connections in Nevada. Companies will also be able to use the offices for videoconferencing.
MineConnect offices give Ontario businesses the opportunity to have a Nevada address while they explore their options in Nevada and find out if there is the right solution for them in the Nevada market before deciding to make a larger investment. important in Nevada.
MineConnect USA Director of Strategic Development, Sheena Hansen, will learn about the needs of Ontario businesses and the Nevada market to facilitate integrations that benefit everyone. And if an Ontario business needs help with, say, scouting out some potential business locations in Nevada while they’re in Ontario, Hansen can help.
Within the first six weeks of opening MineConnect USA offices, some of the first 10 Ontario companies participating in the program have established good relationships and some have even signed contracts.
“We can’t necessarily share specifics, but there are companies that have already had success with the project,” Tremblay said. “We’ve had some early wins, and hopefully there will be continued wins as we continue to raise awareness.”
Tremblay said they anticipate that not only will MineConnect USA give Ontario companies the opportunity to expand into the Nevada market, but it could also give Nevada companies the opportunity to expand into the Ontario market.
“Some of the Nevada companies may see the opportunities here and may decide, ‘Hey, we have the potential to do something there. “”
She said there will likely be times when Ontario miners say to miners they meet in Nevada, “Would you like to expand what you’re doing and set up something in Northern Ontario , because we have a ton of mines here.”
Tremblay said he hopes the MineConnect incubator project will continue beyond the initial three-year pilot project.
“If it’s good, then we’ll find ways to keep it going. And if it’s super successful, we’ll look for other places to do a rehearsal, and we’ll look at other parts of the world that make sense.
You can learn more about MineConnect USA at mineconnectusa.com, and you can follow them on Twitter and LinkedIn.￼