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Sudbury-based blasting company partnering with South Africa's BME

Joint venture makes way for Consbec to expand into underground mining
Consbec cropped
Consbec, a Sudbury-area blasting company, expects to create more jobs through its recent joint venture agreement with South African firm BME. (Consbec photo)

Consbec and BME are partnering to provide underground blasting services to the mining industry.

Consbec, the largest surface drilling and blasting contractor in the country, is headquartered in the bedroom community of Val Caron, located just outside of Sudbury.

The joint venture, called BME Mining Canada Inc., will be a manufacturing and services company in the surface and underground mining market.

In a Sept. 11 press release, both partners expressed their hope that the initiative will create an opportunity for growth and expansion throughout North America, beginning in Northern Ontario.

BME Mining Canada will leverage Consbec's experience and presence throughout the country. Consbec is the only private Canadian company that manufactures and transports bulk explosives.

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Through the joint venture, the companies plan to adopt a phased approach, initially based on sales efforts in the region. Depending on the needs of customers, they also plan to expand to capital investment and services in the future.

A key capability of BME Mining Canada will be drill and blast services at mine sites. The joint venture will allow Consbec to expand its base into the underground mining segment.

“A key highlight of the joint venture is the synergy between the partners, and represents the entry of a new service provider into an area which will benefit from a fresh approach to address client needs based on a proven international track record,” commented BME CEO Joe Keenan in the press release.

“We believe that BME's underground expertise and technology contribution to the partnership will be significant – providing customers with leading edge tools and services for quality blasts. Consbec were looking to extend its offering and to expand into underground in Canada so the synergy makes complete sense.”

Future introduction of activities like non-electric assembly and the manufacturing of bulk emulsion and underground equipment to Canada will mean local job creation in the region which aligns with Omnia Group's strategy to seek growth in new markets through acquisitions and partnerships.

“The phased approach adopted in this case ensures that BME has the platforms to solidify its expansion in North American and grow as a global player,” said CEO of Omnia Group, Seelan Gobalsamy.

BME is one of the biggest suppliers of emulsion explosives to Southern Africa's opencast mining sector and a pioneer in electronic detonation systems. While Africa will remain the core focus area for BME's operations, the company has set its sights on several international markets for expansion including Canada, Australia, and the western coast of South America.