By ADELLE LARMOUR
It is time for Sudbury area mining supply and service companies to do business beyond their own backyard, and China is the place to do it.
Kirk Petroski, president of ere services, a Sudbury consulting firm, says exploring global opportunities in the mining industry is the thrust behind the Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Services Association’s (SAMSSA) trade mission to China. Acting in partnership with ere services, the trade mission to Beijing, Shangxi Province and Jilin Province, is being planned for November 2005.
“There are tremendous opportunities throughout Asia,” says Petroski. “Our focus is on the Chinese market.”
The spark behind this initiative is to create new opportunities, and fuel growth and sustainability for SAMSSA members, which are mostly private sector mining supply and service companies, according to Petroski.
As a world leader in mining innovation and related products and services, SAMSSA members can offer significant expertise to the Chinese mining scene. Petroski says there is potential for mentoring and training, as well as direct investment. The intention of this trade mission is to export Northern mining companies’ capabilities, whether it is tangible, in terms of products, training or other non-tangibles, says Petroski.
Presently, most of the companies have kept their business local. But by moving “outside their own backyard” and expanding globally, they can benefit from increased sustainability and reduced reliance on a maturing American market.
“Although it’s not easy to go global, particularly into the Asian market, they’re going to have to start making these efforts if they wish to see their companies grow,” Petroski says. “They have to look at it from within.”
At a time when Asia is trying to attract a lot of foreigninvestment, export- and import-ready businesses are encouraged to participate. Potential delegates will include, but are not limited to, SAMSSA members, SAMSSA executives, FedNor and/or City of Greater Sudbury representatives and non-SAMSSA organizations.
The delegation can be from eight to 12 representatives.
The numbers are limited, because efforts will be made to match up and identify some common core competencies between confirmed members attending and the companies there. Confirmation will occur in early June, when Xiao (Mandy) Wen of ere services will spend the summer months establishing links to match up the respective companies.
The package is inclusive with flights, accommodations,translation services, briefings on business practices and etiquette, and assistance with memorandums of understandings.
Participants will begin the trip with a visit to the China Mining 2005 Trade Show, which will include over 2000 industry and government leaders from the international and Chinese mining community.
According to SAMSSA’s website, China’s mining enterprises have built up to 200,000 collectively owned mines, and the country’s industry has established a range of components: geology, production, construction, scientific research, design, equipment manufacture, management, education and training.