Canadian Mining Journal


CONFERENCE: First Beyond Digital Transformation conference coming to Sudbury

SUDBURY, Ont. – Beyond Digital Transformation 2018 (#BDT2018), a new, one-day mining conference, hopes to provide the opportunity for mining industry leaders and vendors with decades of mining technology experience to come together to discuss the ongoing digital transformation of the mining industry, and what technologies will be required to drive that change.

Rick Howes

Conference partners include Laurentian University’s Goodman School of Mines, Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT), Sudbury Area Mining Supply and Service Association (SAMSAA), the Sudbury District Chamber of Commerce, the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, Northern Ontario Angels, and PACE (Partners in Achieving Change Excellence).

#BDT2018 comes with a twist on the traditional mining exposition and trade shows. “In working and having discussions with some of the biggest mining companies in the world, what we’ve been hearing is that the digital transformation of mining is moving ahead very quickly, but that there is not always a ‘one size fits all’ solution to their needs,” says Neha Singh, PACE CEO. “Our thought was to turn the tables on your usual mining conference, and instead of vendors just showing mining companies what they have and hoping it fits, we would provide a forum for the mining companies to tell the vendor what they need.”

Conference partners hope #BDT2018 will help vendors from Northern Ontario, Canada, the United States and beyond to develop a greater understanding of the individual needs of global mining companies in achieving their digital transformation goals. They can then leverage this knowledge into ideal turnkey technology solutions uniquely designed for their mines.

#BDT2018 is very excited to announce mining industry giant and multiple award winner Rick Howes as keynote speaker. He has been president and CEO of Dundee Precious Metals (DPM) since 2013 and has over 35 years’ experience in the mining industry in Canada, Europe, Asia, and Africa in various capacities including engineering and design, operations and maintenance supervision, site and plant management, business unit management and executive global management.

Throughout his career, Howes has been closely associated with the practices that make for world-class mining operations including Inco’s North mine, which won the 2006 Ryan Award as the safest mine in Canada. A key theme of his career is pushing to innovate in the mining business. He was recognized with the 2016 Outstanding Innovator Award, presented by the International Mining Technology Hall of Fame for his work with DPM at their Chelopech mine, where he introduced an operational performance project called Taking the Lid Off that combined communication and location technologies, providing real-time production management and tracking to better monitor production and control.

“Rick is a visionary mining executive whose work fundamentally changed DPM’s mining operational management”, affirms Singh. “What he brings to the table is exactly what this conference is about – innovation, transformation, and how to keep up with the rate of change. This is the exact kind of person mining vendors need to hear from!”

“I am delighted at this opportunity to return to Sudbury and share my perspective on where mining is headed, what will be required from technology providers, and how vendors and mining companies can work together in order to evolve, innovate, and thrive in the digital age,” says Howes.

The agenda of speakers includes: Samantha Espley, GM mining and mineral processing technical excellence centre, Vale; Patrick Marshall, manager, automation projects, Barrick Gold; Kevin Mcauley, manager, sustainable development and innovation, Glencore; Sean McCarthy, superintendent, engineering, Barrick Gold; and Greg Sandblom, operation and business technology leader, Sudbury Integrated Nickel, Glencore.

In another innovative move, #BDT2018 will also direct all proceeds above conference costs to various local and international charities chosen by the conference speakers. “We wanted to attract some of the best and brightest, and people are very motivated when given an opportunity to help a cause near and dear to their hearts,” said Singh.

Individuals unable to attend the conference can also donate to the charities, which include the Canadian Cancer Society, Plan International Because I am a Girl, United Way North East Ontario, the Marathon Food Bank, and Zawadi la Tumaini orphanage in Kenya, directly from the website.

In addition to opportunities for networking, compelling speakers, a trade show, and learning about innovation and new technologies, the conference will also offer discussion on dealing with the people side of change. “Mines truly care about their people and the communities where they operate,” adds Singh. “We’re pleased to bring that element into Beyond Digital Transformation 2018.”

Beyond Digital Transformation 2018 mining conference takes place Feb. 1, 2018, in Sudbury. Tickets, registration and sponsorship opportunities, speaker bios, conference agenda and other developing information is available at

By bringing some of the sharpest minds in mining together with technology star-ups and other problem solvers, Beyond Digital Transformation 2018 promises many opportunities for mining companies to speak directly to counterparts from the mining industry, share digital innovation strategies, and explain the problems they are looking to solve so vendors can align their strategies and provide exactly what mining companies need to ensure the best return on investment through improved safety and higher productivity, resulting in future growth and business success.

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