This edition of E&MJ has 10 pages dedicated to Nordic mining and technology. Much of it is based on what I learned during my trip to Skellefteå, Sweden, to participate in the Euro Mine Expo event during June. One of the interesting things about this event is the collection of languages (Swedish, Suomi and Russian), dialects and the cultures. To say they have a different perspective there would be putting it mildly. At the end of the day, however, it’s hardrock miners and suppliers, and they have a lot in common with their counterparts around the world.
Late one night in the pub, as an example, an underground driller was taking me to task. “We have the deepest, safest and most advanced mines in the world,” he said with a lot of pride. That’s a good thing. What mining executive wouldn’t want to hear one of their own bragging about their mine this way. But I couldn’t let him get away with it. I told him there were a lot of safe mines and that, yes, his mine was deep, but it wasn’t the deepest. At the same time, E&MJ’s ad salesman was reminding me how big this guy was and looking for the door. I stayed the course and explained that there were similar mines doing similar things in eastern Canada, the U.S., and Australia, and that some of the deepest mines were in South Africa. After another round, we agreed to disagree. The next day I felt confirmation when a global marketing manager from Epiroc repeated most of the statistics I rattled off in the pub.
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