GoWest Bradshaw mine manager Greg Hart is always looking for new products.
For a couple hours this morning, Hart was one of 11 purchasers set up for the Timmins Chamber of Commerce's Meet the Purchasers event.
Having been in the mining industry for 40 years, the reverse tradeshow-style event is a way for Hart to network and find out what's new.
“We’re a junior mine, we’re just starting out. We’ve been moving along for a couple years with permitting and getting the mine together and it’s important to keep the suppliers informed and that’s the reason to be here today," said Hart.
"And the other is there’s new products every day on the market and I find that very informative for myself as we’re going forward. We have an opportunity in a new mine to be able to build it very modern, very special, there’s lots of new aspects out there that you can bring into the mining that are new to the market."
As the mine north of Timmins moves forward, he said they'll need a lot of suppliers for everything from underground pumping, electrical, concrete, construction work, and more.
"It’s good to get out in the market and talk to them,” he said.
By having different conversations, he noted that if somebody doesn't have what he's looking for, they know somebody who does.
“That’s really what it’s all about, it’s a networking side of it, and I know the chamber does an excellent job at this. I think they need to expand it a bit and continue on with it, I think it’s really good," said Hart.
The annual event featured purchasers from the mining industry, school boards, Ontario Power Generation, Ontario Northland, and the hospital.
“The purchasers see value in attending so that they can see a number of different organizations, companies confined within a morning, and those that register to attend see huge value in being able to see this many buyers in a morning as well,” said Carmen Swartz, Timmins Chamber of Commerce manager of business services.
The event has been held for more than 10 years.
Through feedback from people attending, Swartz said they've changed from a format with purchaser presentations and now get right down to the networking portion.
“Every time someone walks in, they’re really just happy. A lot of times throughout the year they email and call, but to have that opportunity to walk in and shake hands with someone can really make a big difference so the Chamber’s happy to be able to provide that opportunity,” she said.