Canadian Manufacturing

Sandvik shutters North Bay plant amid harsh restructuring effort

Additional restructuring efforts hit Ontario facility once deemed by Sandvik executive as “the centre of the universe for exploration expertise.”


NORTH BAY, Ont.; SANDVIKEN, Sweden—Multinational industrial firm Sandvik AB will close it’s North Bay, Ont. exploration drilling products manufacturing facility as part of additional restructuring efforts announced today.

The move includes more job cuts impacting 650 employees globally and the closure of a Sandvik Mining and Construction facility in Rocklea, Aus.

The firm also announced that third-party contracts with more than 350 individuals will be terminated.

The new restructuring will result in additional nonrecurring charges estimated at 175 million SEK (CAN$26 million) in the fourth quarter 2012, with a further 175 million SEK in 2013.

Sandvik purchased the plant on Kirkpatrick St. in North Bay in 2008, citing a need to increase production and promising a workforce of 100.

Peter Larsen, Sandvik vice-president of mining exploration for the U.S. and Canada, was quoted in the Sudbury Mining Solutions Journal in 2008: “We have added capacity to serve an industry that’s booming. The exploration industry is in one of the biggest boom cycles in recent memory and there’s a desperate need for product.”

Larsen called North Bay a “good logistics hub,” adding that it was “the centre of the universe for exploration expertise,” that hosted several other major players in the industry.

How quickly things change—in August 2012 Sandvik said in a release that the facility was “no longer suitable” for the scale of future operations, making the future foggy for its then 70 employees.

While their future with Sandvik is no longer foggy, the mining products giant shows little in the way of Christmas spirit with this announcement.

Many of these trained, skilled employees are hoping to find opportunities at Sandvik competitors, such as Canadian-owned Mining Technologies International Inc., Boart Longyear and Atlas Copco, all of which still operate in North Bay.

Additional fallout from the strategic realignment includes the closing of Seco Tools US distribution centre in Troy, Mich., moving the task to a distribution centre in Kentucky.

Sandvik also announced employee “headcount reductions” will take place at facilities in Fagersta, Sweden and Barcelona, Spain.