Northern College and Sandvik Mining & Rock Technology Sign Green Technology Memorandum of Understanding

October 13, 2020

TIMMINS, ON: Sandvik, a high-tech and global engineering group, and Northern College, a highly innovative and nimble post-secondary, apprenticeship and industry training provider, have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to work collaboratively to enhance existing battery technician training modules and develop a Northern College Battery Electric Vehicle Technician program to educate service technicians and support the growing requirement for specialized BEV technicians in the mining industry. Sandvik has partnered with Northern College to offer this training program for service technicians to prepare them for employment in this field.

Battery-electric vehicles (BEV’s) are increasing in popularity in the Canadian mining industry due to the improvements they offer in operating environments, maintenance costs, efficiency and productivity. Specialized BEV technicians are required to support the growing fleet of battery-electric vehicles in Canada.

“It’s important to be aware of the fact that the technology powering battery-electric vehicles is considerably different than that of diesel machines,” stated Dr. Audrey J. Penner, President and CEO of Northern College of the new technology. “Servicing and maintaining these fleets requires a different skillset than what is required for a diesel-powered fleet because BEV’s have fewer mechanical components and more electrical components. For that reason, the Canadian mining industry requires a new generation of service technicians who are trained in servicing electrically-powered machinery and Northern College is responding to that call for talent and training,” she added.

Northern College and the Haileybury School of Mines will develop a program with Sandvik and their partners to educate participants in BEV technology. Sandvik will serve as a subject matter expert on the topic of BEV’s in a mining application to ensure that program graduates are educated in areas that are relevant for the mining industry.

“This program is really a win-win for a cleaner industry while also supporting resource development in the communities close to the mines using BEV technology,” explains Peter Corcoran, Vice President Canada, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology.
“We are investing in educating this next generation of service specialists because we forecast an increase in demand for technicians in the BEV field as more operations transition to zero-emissions equipment. We also want to invest in the local talent pool as the benefits of hiring locally and developing sustainable capacity in the community cannot be understated,” Corcoran says. “This partnership addresses both of those areas.”

One industry proponent of BEV’s in mining is Kirkland Lake Gold. “Using BEV at our Macassa Mine benefits us in a number of ways, including significantly lowering greenhouse gas emissions, improving working conditions and reducing capital requirements for ventilation” says Evan Pelletier, Kirkland Lake Gold’s Vice President of Mining (Kirkland Lake).

Pelletier explains that Kirkland Lake Gold was among the first to bring electrification to the mining industry, and the company has seen significant improvements in BEV technology in a relatively short time. Based on Kirkland Lake’s experience, Pelletier believes that the participation of both Original Equipment Manufacturer’s (OEM’s) and mining companies in the development of a technician training program will be an important contributor to the program’s success.

“Working with colleges will help Kirkland Lake Gold further develop our technicians in this field,” Pelletier explains. “The program will not only develop new technicians, it will help to establish BEV standards in the industry that will lead the way for future advancements.”

Sandvik Group
Sandvik is a high-tech and global engineering group offering products and services that enhance customer productivity, profitability and safety. We hold world-leading positions in selected areas – tools and tooling systems for metal cutting; equipment and tools, service and technical solutions for the mining industry and rock excavation within the construction industry; products in advanced stainless steels and special alloys as well as products for industrial heating. In 2019, the Group had approximately 40,000 employees and revenues of about 100 billion SEK in more than 160 countries within continuing operations.

Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology
Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology is a business area within the Sandvik Group and a global leading supplier of equipment and tools, service and technical solutions for the mining and construction industries. Application areas include rock drilling, rock cutting, crushing and screening, loading and hauling, tunneling, quarrying and breaking and demolition. In 2019, sales were approximately 45 billion SEK with about 14,000 employees in continuing operations.

Northern College
Northern College is Ontario’s Post Secondary leader in student and employer satisfaction. Rooted in the Boreal forests of Ontario’s Northeast, Northern College is proud to offer the best skills based, career focused training to those with a mind for adventure and a drive for career results. For over 50 years, Northern College has delivered the latest in-demand college courses to students across all four of its campuses, helping to shape the health and future of Ontario’s north east.


Media Contact:
Kyle Gennings
Marketing & Communications Officer
T. 705-235-3211 ext. 2276
F. 705-235-6888
C. 705-288-1101

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