What is the mandate and membership structure of the Mining Suppliers Trade Association (MSTA CANADA)?
The MSTA CANADA is the national voice for the mining services and suppliers sector. The association’s mandate for over 38 years has been to serve its members in connecting them to opportunities to grow their business. MSTA CANADA’s three pillars of purpose are networking, mining intelligence information and education, and advocacy. Our members are mostly small to medium enterprises and they represent the whole life cycle of mining.
How do you view the current climate for Canadian mining service providers? There are three main aspects. There is a commitment to reducing water intensity, reducing energy intensity and reducing environmental footprint. If you are a company that is providing services addressed to one of these solutions, you are in high demand. The market favors services that improve productivity. Safety used to be considered a value proposition but now it is implied that whatever you are doing is done in a safe and responsible manner. You must differentiate yourself in your ability to implement a solution that will improve productivity in a cost effective way. The productivity improvements are usually in terms of connectivity or reducing the time required for a process.
Can you expand on MSTA CANADA’s provision of advocacy services?
We advocate by providing advice to federal and provincial agencies when they are making policy decisions. The main focus is to instruct government on how it can enable the sector’s growth. I believe there are two guiding principles on how to do that. Reducing the barriers of doing business and increasing the access to opportunities. This can have many shapes and forms, and come from different angles such as infrastructure, taxation, funding innovation. Facilitating business does not mean that the industry should reduce its social and environmental responsibilities – it is about expediting the process. We have created requirements that extended the timeline from discoveries to production. The aim should be to condense that without reducing the quality of the regulation.
Do you see the adoption rate for new technologies improving?
After the last downturn, there has been a focus on what we must do in order to survive moving forward. This encompasses two aspects; having a social license to operate and integrating technology more efficiently. I still see companies struggling on the second aspect. I think both the understanding of the need and the will are there at a corporate level but operationalizing those changes has been more challenging. The difficulty comes in integrating new technologies into an already established system.
What does the MSTA CANADA’s annual forum held in Toronto in November aim to achieve?
In 2019, the theme is “Unleashing the Canadian Mining ecosystem”. The intent is to provide a platform for companies to show their work and contributions worldwide; from the government to mining services providers, mining companies and all stake holders. I believe we succeeded in our goals and objectives of this event. We also wanted to convey the message that we are a trusted and ethical partner of choice to develop your mineral resources. We are planning for our 2020 event and look forward to another great networking event.
MINING SUPPLIERS TRADE ASSOCIATION CANADA – MSTA CANADA