Kim Valade, General Manager,

MEGLAB

"Meglab brings ideas and integrates new technology and solutions for an electric, connected, digital and automated mine."

Can you provide an overview of Meglab’s expertise?

Meglab brings ideas and integrates new technology and solutions for an electric, connected, digital and automated mine. Our vision is to enable better and safer mines that reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. Our team thinks about designing innovative solutions and we manufacture the equipment in our factories in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. In addition to integrating and designing technology, we also have people that work directly at the mine to install, integrate, and make it work. Our focus is very much on the service side of the business.

How is Meglab’s work being applied at specific projects throughout Canada?

We work closely with our partners to offer creative solutions that are well aligned with the specific needs of the projects. For example, at the Éléonore mine, the remote location of the site led us to the idea of building the electrical substation in a marine container for its robustness and versatility. Our YellowSub idea offered an all-in-one equipment ready to install at the site, much like a manufactured home.

Our trusted relationships have allowed us to continue to innovate and participate in some really interesting projects like Borden, Ontario, which is a 100% electric mine. Meglab made all the electrical underground infrastructure design underground, and we offered innovative ideas like the 1,000 Volts substation. We also brought in all the tracking and communication systems making this mine one of the one of the most technologically advanced.

How is Meglab’s business evolving with the growth of electric mining underground?

As we see more electrification of mines, companies are looking for new ways of doing things. We need to collaborate and work as a team with the mines more than ever in order to offer solutions that meet the highest aspirations of the industry. More frequently, electric installation comes in the second or third phase of the development of a mining a project. However, if a company wants to go all electric and be fully efficient, you have to plan for it in the feasibility step. The key is taking a global approach where all stakeholders are involved in rethinking the mine design.

Our team believes in the green mine and we are actually developing a Megacharge to accelerate and facilitate the transition to electrification and battrification of mines. The MegaCharge is a stand-alone piece of equipment that has the capacity to charge multiple pieces of equipment in addition to the whole electrical infrastructure.

This March it was announced that Epiroc will be acquiring Meglab. How did this deal come together?

It all started with our people because our relationship draws on a common dream. For several years, both of our teams worked together on a variety of projects. Because Meglab provides connectivity, power control solutions and supports technology integration, we have had many opportunities to work together. Over time we built a good relationship and trust between our people. Our client orientated service and our desire to create and innovate to bring in new ideas and make a difference in the mining sector has made the difference. The discussion about the acquisition started about a year ago when the Meglab team offered installation and maintenance services for Epiroc equipment at the mine site. Today, these machines need to be electric, so they need the infrastructure, and people on site to program, and provide technical service. During our discussions with Epiroc, the synergies and possibilities to go further in the solutions offered became clear. Their intention was also to grow Meglab as a standalone brand, so it was going in the same direction as we wanted. They want to bring great opportunities to our team.

We never built Meglab to sell because we are family business. However, technology moves so fast that if we really wanted to make a change in the market, we needed to have this synergy. Epiroc has the machines and Meglab has the technology. Also, for our people it opens many opportunities for them to grow and to access a global vision for the future. Epiroc is in 115 countries, so this is a great opportunity to expand Meglab's global presence.

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