Sweden’s Hexagon has lobbed Walter Siggelkow an offer he could not refuse for his 27-year-old Sudbury mining control systems business, Hard-Line Solutions, saying its latest acquisition would enhance its “life-of-mine technology stack”.
Heavy equipment mechanic Siggelkow, 63, founded Hard-Line in 1996. The business is a smaller, long-term competitor of Australia’s RCT Global, for which Epiroc last year paid about US$300 million.
Hard-Line established a distribution partnership in 2018 with Australia’s Murray Engineering, part of the Byrnecut Group that includes the world’s largest underground hard-rock mining contractor.
While Hard-Line has about 100 employees and is understood to generate US$25-30 million annual sales, Hexagon did not disclose the acquisition price and said Hard-Line would not have “a significant impact on [its] earnings”.
Hexagon described Hard-Line as a “fast-growing, global leader in mine automation, remote-control technology and mine production optimisation”.
“As mines venture deeper underground in search of vital minerals and metals, the importance of removing humans from hazardous operating conditions becomes increasingly clear,” Hexagon CEO Paolo Guglielmini said.
“Remote control is a key enabler of this and serves as a stepping-stone towards full autonomy.”
Hexagon has been growing its exposure to mining since it bought Leica Geosystems in 2005.
Hard-Line has offices in Canada, USA, Chile and Peru.