Sandvik – Cubex Dealer Agreement
ON NOVEMBER 20, 2009, Sandvik Mining and Construction announced that it had entered into a dealer agreement with Winipeg, Canada-based Cubex to “market, distribute and support its underground mining product line, including all underground drills, booster/compressor packages, ancillary support components, and water-pump systems”. The company will primarily serve global markets, with the exception of Canada and the state of Nevada.
Founded in 1972, Cubex is a leading developer and manufacturer of ITH drilling products. The company has long been actively involved in the contracting of services, supplying of capital equipment, and in designing and manufacturing equipment for the mining industry.
“We look forward to working with Cubex within the Sandvik distributor network. With this new dealer agreement, Sandvik Mining and Construction has the opportunity to offer complete solutions to customers working with in-the-hole drilling applications,” said Kari Parvento, president of underground mining at Sandvik.
“Cubex is known for excellent product knowledge, and world-class customer service and support. Today’s announcement reaffirms our commitment to in-the-hole applications to meet the demand for longhole drilling with world-class products and services in the markets.”
He added: “This is a team effort with Cubex to meet the demand for the underground mining applications. A very important part of our business plan is to continue to add competent products to our portfolio.”
NGPR AND INTEGRATION
The dealer agreement is significant in that, up until now, Sandvik has not had a commercial ITH offering in its underground-mining suite of products. The exception is the so-called New Generation Production Rigs (NGPR) programme for LKAB, begun in 2006.
This NGPR project is ongoing, and involves an agreement between LKAB and Sandvik, whereby at least 10 Sandvik Solo 8 next-generation machines would be equipped for production drilling with the W100 Wassara hammer. These rigs are being used successfully at Kiruna and Malmberget.
With regard to any implications of this project and the Wassara relationship from the Cubex deal, a spokesperson at Sandvik told Mining Magazine: “The NGPR project must be seen as developing next-generation robotic rigs for the industry. Cubex will give additional dimension to our ability to offer a range of units with the Wassara application. Sandvik offers the concept LKAB needed – nextgeneration, long-hole drilling units that use Wassara water hammers with state-of-art robotics and a new, but proven, automation technology.
“Long-hole drilling is one of the most important processes for LKAB and we were issued with strict requirements by the customer… in addition to the production drill rigs, LKAB uses a large fleet of Sandvik LH625Es, electric and remote-controlled loaders.”
In terms of how it affects the future product line strategy, the company said: “Sandvik has some ITH rigs, but this is the opportunity to offer complete solutions to customers working with in-the-hole drilling applications. Cubex is known for excellent product knowledge, and world-class customer service and support. There are lots of things that should not be invented again. The dealer agreement with Cubex also reaffirms Sandvik’s commitment to in-the-hole applications to meet the demand for long-hole drilling with world-class products and services in the markets. We see Cubex as a potential partner to develop the ITH offering for the future.”
There are currently no plans to make Cubex rigs appear Sandvik-branded – they will remain under the Cubex name. In addition, both companies are running their respective websites in the spirit of the agreement.
Finally, there is the distributor issue. In much of North America and Australia, Terex Mining, through Reedrill, has acted as the distributor for Cubex rigs, while the same is true of P&H MinePro in parts of South America and southern Africa. Of course, the Terex distributorship is further complicated by Bucyrus’ agreement to acquire Terex Mining.
However, as Sandvik will become the exclusive dealer for everywhere outside Canada and Nevada, the transition should be relatively smooth. Sandvik told Mining Magazine: “While we acknowledge challenges related to all agreements with other companies, from our point of view the most pertinent is to help our customers run their business better and safer. Everything else comes after that.”