Nordic Minesteel Technologies Inc. will receive $ 650,654 to design and build a prototype battery-powered Atlas cylinder for large-scale mine maintenance, as well as for the development of the Titan 220, a battery-powered jack to aid in the repair of heavy trucks.
Drillco Mining and Exploration will receive $ 500,000 to commercialize clean technology modular drilling systems.
Boart Longyear will receive $ 374,035 for a wired production automation project.
“This is really good news,” said Justin August, plant manager at Boart Longyear.
The funding means that Boart Longyear will be able to “bring in a product in-house” that would otherwise be supplied by subcontractors, creating two full-time jobs.
August notes that the industry has been “volatile, especially over the past six months,” and the announced funds “will help us take it to the next level,” while making the company more competitive in the face of international competition.
Boart Longyear employs 133 people in its North Bay facility – 110 in the shop and 23 in the office.
Drillco will be able to build demonstration units of its clean technology modular drill.
Some have already been deployed in a “real” environment, explains Dave Jones, the company’s business development manager.
Prototypes and demonstration units have already received a lot of positive feedback from the mining industry.
And the funding will allow others in the industry to see the drilling equipment in operation.
“Everything in the system is based in North Bay,” Jones says. ” All along. ”
He notes that of the company’s fifteen suppliers, “11 or 12 are based in Northern Ontario.”
The company, which now employs 12 full-time people, will add four more workers.
The battery-powered remote-controlled jacks under development at Nordic Minesteel add a level of safety to heavy equipment maintenance, says Heather Johnston, and depending on the variant can handle 150-ton trucks to the 400-ton trucks used in mines at open sky. .
Battery powered units are a “clean solution” that can be used in stores and provide a level of safety that was not previously available.
“One of the biggest safety concerns is working on the tires,” she says, and the jacks will be able to lift and secure the front or rear axles of vehicles.
“This is an exciting day for the industry in North Bay,” said Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, making the announcement at the Boart Longyear office on Main Street W.
Fedeli says the funding is specifically aimed at creating a “skilled workforce” in North Bay and will enhance the reputation of Ontario manufacturers on the world stage.
“It’s two and a half million dollars coming to North Bay, creating 15 new jobs,” Fedeli says, noting that almost all of them are involved in the export market.
He says it is also “very significant” that while the pandemic restrictions are in place, companies “are growing, hiring and continuing to innovate.”
He also points out that although the NOHFC contributes $ 2.5 million, “the amount invested by the companies themselves is in the millions” of dollars.