By KELLY LOUISEIZE
Instead of waiting for buyers to come to them, Cast Resource Equipment is aggressively seeking partnerships with foreign contacts and in its efforts to do so is establishing a sales office in Nevada.
“Our export sales run us about 25 per cent of our business,” says Mike Castron, technical sales representative for Cast Resources and son of co-owner Fred.
Their exports increased from five to 25 per cent in the last five years because of offshore partnerships, he says.
Cast Resource specializes in remanufactured underground equipment and now has connections in Ireland, Mexico, South Africa, South America, Russia and the United States and is gaining a presence in Chile.
In addition to the remanufacturing division, they are also the distributors of Normet underground equipment and Cattron-Theimeg Inc. RRC Plus Interface product, a radio remote control system that is installed on underground equipment like a load-haul dump machine, for example. It sends and receives information to the operator who is manipulating the machine though a remote control panel.
A majority of their sales is in remanufacturing, but Castron says there is a potential to strengthen the parts sales division. Radio remote controls systems are gaining recognition in South America, the United States and Canada. Some of the Cast’s technicians have gone to Russia and South Africa
to install the systems onto the machinery.
This is why it is important to attend mining shows and conferences and become Internet savvy, Castron says.
“We’ve invested quite a bit into (exporting initiatives). It’s costly, but we are looking long term.”
The international mining community is small, Castron says.
There is no doubt it is a competitive market. Other suppliers are looking for the same “in,” but “you have to believe you have a good product, and so what if your competitors are in the booth (beside you). If you have a shot at the customer, may the best guy win.”
In order to develop partnerships abroad, Castron says they have to “spend the money and nurture relationships” to connect with the right people who will eventually sell their products. The industry’s history has always been very secretive, Castron says.
“You are not going to get guys telling you who their distributors (foreign sellers) are in Mexico or Chile.”
Greater Sudbury is known as one of four international mining hubs in the world.
Companies such as Falconbridge and Inco have incurred unique challenges in the mining evolutionary process.
This has pushed supply companies to think of innovative ways of rising up to opportunities, he says.
“(Mining companies) give you an opportunity to show what your product can do and, if it works and you back it up, that’s great and that’s what I think it is all about.”
MINExpo Las Vegas opened Sept. 28.
Castron showcased the RRC Plus Interface product at the Cattron booth and introduced new underground personal carriers at the Normet booth.