Sandvik partners with arctic distribution expert Northern Networks

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has partnered with Northern
Networks Ltd, an established Inuit partner to bring Sandvik
products to mines in Nunavut.

Sandvik’s distribution
partnership with Northern Networks Credit: Sandvik Mining

Peter Corcoran, Managing Director of Sandvik Canada Inc.,
started thinking about potential distribution channels in
Canada’s north as soon as it became clear that major miners like
Agnico Eagle Mines would not be deterred by challenges presented by
a northern environment when developing their arctic mines.

“Our customers are our partners,” says Corcoran “and they
are building these new mines in the north.” The northern
environment brings unique challenges to providing support to
customers like monitoring the spring time ice melt to schedule
parts and equipment for barges, building ice roads and working with
local communities’ resources. In order to properly serve these
customers Corcoran knew that in the long run Sandvik would need to
leverage the expertise of an established and experienced local
Inuit partner to efficiently bring Sandvik’s products to
Nunavut’s mines.

“Sandvik believes for mining to prosper in Canada the
communities that are impacted by these mining projects will need to
be involved,” Corcoran explains, “and the mining companies need
Indigenous groups in the region to be a part of their businesses
long term. Recognizing that, Sandvik has built this strategy to
have a partner in these areas and we have been fortunate in finding
Northern Networks Ltd. in Nunavut.”

According to Derrick Webster, Chief Operating Officer of Eskimo
Point Lumber Supply and Northern Networks Ltd, the company was
built to serve Nunavut – “We are actually in the community,
with local infrastructure, people, equipment, and when a mine needs
something we are here.” Becoming an authorized Sandvik
distribution partner will allow Northern Networks Ltd to leverage
their extensive knowledge of Canada’s north to support the growth
of the mining industry and stimulate further economic development
in their community.

For Ryan St John, President & Chief Executive Officer of
Eskimo Point Lumber Supply and Northern Networks Ltd, it has always
been about supporting his community and staying true to his values.
The company is proud that 60% of its 170 employees come from local
Inuit communities. “Sandvik is a really good fit for [Northern
Networks Ltd] because our values align in terms of honesty and
transparency,” St John says.

“We like aligning ourselves with companies that want to be the
best, that is what we strive to do every day” St John explains.
“What appealed to us with Sandvik was that they are the best in
their field in terms of technology, they are continually improving,
advancing, creating that value for customers, and creating
opportunities for the communities we serve.”

Northern Networks Ltd is an Arviat, Nunavut based, majority
Inuit-owned distributor with operations in Rankin Inlet, and
specializes in contracting, procurement, and strategic
partnerships. The company is a part of the Eskimo Point Lumber
Supply group of companies, which was named one of Canada’s 500
fastest growing companies in 2018. Northern Networks Ltd. has been
operating and generating employment opportunities in its community
since 1993 and obtained its official certification of Inuit firm
status in 1995.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology’s full suite of products
including surface and underground drills, underground loaders and
trucks, automation and digital solutions, rock tools, and parts
will be available through Northern Networks Ltd starting November
1, 2019.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining

Source: FS – Mining B.
Sandvik partners with arctic distribution expert Northern Networks

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