Nordic Minesteel Technologies (NMT) is a global company that reaches Africa, Australia, South America, North America, Europe and Asia. Having such a wide spread and nearly thirty years of doing business around the world has given the company a high referral rate that sees new clients seeking out its expertise and quality. Not every client comes through these word of mouth channels. The company also boasts a productive outside sales team and a dedicated set of internal staff who take part in more creative marketing approaches.
The cyclical nature of the mining business is a challenging one that Ron Elliott has successfully navigated for over twenty-five years. Beginning in 1993, he went about purchasing a manufacturing facility, and this allowed him to found his own company, then known simply as Minesteel Fabricators. In 2006, the acquisition of Nordic Mine Technology and its specialized technology for high volume ore transport – the name for valuable ore deposits – along with its loading and unloading stations brought about a new era of opportunities for the company.
Thirteen years later, these two companies were finally amalgamated to become what is known today as Nordic Minesteel Technologies (NMT). As the company continued to grow, it also acquired Specialized Maintenance Equipment (SME) in 2016 and assets of German company Schalke Eisenhütte Maschinenfabrik (Schalke) just last year.
The steady growth and expansions are not the only way to visibly measure its successes. Around the world, the company has taken part in joint ventures to build its footprint while helping to expand the mining industries of countries like Mongolia and Russia. As it has grown over the years, its company culture has flourished into a diverse and inclusive environment, like much of the global mining industry, which thrives on a healthy attitude of collaboration and invention.
Success has come from a deep understanding of the underground mining market, with the biggest challenge facing NMT being maintaining a consistent workflow. This can be difficult with the underground mining world in a constant state of flux. However, the uncertainty has not slowed the company down, and its recent acquisitions of SME and Schalke have allowed the company to diversify, expanding into surface mining as well as bringing on new technology for its underground efforts.
With Schalke under its umbrella, the company has added to its impressive assortment of material and personnel haulage systems, creating a one-stop shop for reliable, continuous, automated, smart rail systems. The acquisition of SME has paved the way to enter the open pit maintenance industry with fast, safe, advanced, heavy-duty equipment. This new range of products is joining the established line of mining products and haulage systems such as rail cars, loading pockets, skips, cages, and shaft steel. Nordic Minesteel prides itself on custom-engineered solutions and offers various levels of automation that focuses on vertical and horizontal haulage.
Creating new products is something very much on the forefront of company goals, and while the specifics of its newest product, the Titan220, are still somewhat under wraps, they will not be for much longer. The Titan220 will be fully unveiled come May 2019 as part of a new heavy-duty equipment line that allows off-road haul truck maintenance to be done faster, safer, and smarter. SME has taken its time to work with industry experts to develop the Titan220 using the latest battery technology.
Continued expansion is one of the goals on the forefront of NMT’s plans. By integrating all recent acquisitions into the parent company culture, it will be able to further focus on creating state-of-the-art technologies. As always it will maintain a healthy appetite for new product development which is seen as one of the most important facets of the company. These will include projects focused on safety and originality that will change the industry and increase its market share. As it continues to improve upon its own products it thrives on the moments where it is tasked with developing something altogether new to the industry.
While working closely with the Centre for Excellence and Mining Innovation (CEMI) in Sudbury for nearly two years, the company was able to develop a new concept known as ‘The Shield.’ With this new concept, ground support, drilling, and loading can happen concurrently, which dramatically speeds up the tunnelling process. This not only accelerates the time of tunnelling, but it also provides protection for production drilling, drift rehab, and emergency situations. This is the type of job that it prides itself on undertaking and accomplishing so spectacularly that a new form of mining process is born as a result.
Seeking situations that allow NMT to display its creative prowess is part of its philosophy of being a solutions provider. It takes the information it gets from clients and then works closely with them to come up with a solution that is specific to that job. In one instance, a client was being challenged by wet muck that was building up in its underground mining operation that was hindering the client’s ability to safely perform routine maintenance.
Working alongside the client, NMT built safer chutes that were capable of accommodating this messy by-product. Another, more broad solution was the creation of special unloading stations to help with the transport of heavy ore which can be prone to spillage during mine cart transportation.
Right now, around the world, Schalke Locomotives, Specialized Maintenance Equipment, and Nordic Minesteel work together to provide clients with these personal and very specialized solutions to mining needs. Each of these companies is working hard to get the point across that they work with each other to improve upon the mining industry.
As the company grows and expands upon its capabilities, it is certain that the mining industry – underground and surface – will continue to see a pattern of distinctly new ideas. For the past twenty-six years, NMT has been proving that there is no challenge that cannot be overcome. Going into the future, it will be these innovations and desire for problem-solving that allows it to stand out above the crowd.