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In 2020 Tamarack Mining Services * launched with the goal to level the procurement and supply chain playing field, challenging traditional site-by-site mining procurement practices with the first ever mining industry Group Purchasing Organization (GPO). Long established in Canada and the US and managing hundreds of billions of procurement dollars in other sectors, GPOs bring together like-minded purchasers to create a buying group. As a mining GPO, Tamarack’s buying consortium creates regional efficiencies that benefit buyers and suppliers in a way only possible through joint procurement.
The scale and procurement coordination of the largest mining companies unlocks savings that are a challenge for mid market and smaller mining companies to achieve. The entry of a GPO in this market allows all mining buyers to achieve scale and pricing advantages, regardless of size
With years of global experience consulting on operations and supply chain for the world’s largest international mining companies, Tamarack’s co-founders Lee Barter and Ben-Schoeman Geldenhuys know that the scale and procurement coordination of the largest mining companies unlocks savings that are a challenge for mid market and smaller mining companies to achieve. The entry of a GPO in this market allows all mining buyers to achieve scale and pricing advantages, regardless of size
The benefits of joining Tamarack begin with free access to metrics analysis and benchmarking information. This allows mining companies to visualize their spend in a way they likely haven’t seen before, and pulls back the curtain on regional pricing. When purchasing solely from a site-by-site view it is easy to assume that neighbouring mines and regional operations are all paying the same price for consumables. Tamarack, with the advantage of a bird’s eye view on regional pricing, however, can see that there are large pricing differences in the same region. Tamarack’s co-founder Lee Barter explains, “Spending on mining consumables varies considerably. The pricing on any particular SKU isn’t the same by country, by region, or even by community. One buyer’s price might be in the bottom, the middle, or the top of the pack around them, but one thing is certain: it’s not the same as the next closest mine and one of them is paying more.”
While delivering average savings of 10-25% for members is a great start, it is not Tamarack’s sole focus. Purchasing as a group also allows opportunities for innovation and insight. Buying together to support regional supply chain capacity opens the door to additional supply lines and collaboration opens opportunities for creative solutions
While delivering average savings of 10-25% for members is a great start, it is not Tamarack’s sole focus. Purchasing as a group also allows opportunities for innovation and insight. Buying together to support regional supply chain capacity opens the door to additional supply lines and collaboration opens opportunities for creative solutions.
It is an exciting time to be working in the mining industry as it is embracing innovation amid a period of significant growth. For instance, exploration in Ontario and Quebec is very active and an estimated fifteen projects are expected to begin producing in the next five years. The necessity of a robust supply chain will be essential to serve this market and moreover, must speak to the local complexities of mining procurement. As mining companies work to meet goals set out in Impact Benefit Agreements, an opportunity for a growing Indigenous-led supply chain in existing and in new supply categories would benefit the region’s miners and add long-term positive economic opportunities for Indigenous communities.
Investor reaction to this business model and Tamarack’s goals has been extremely well received and attracted investment from influential like-minded partners, including Des Nedhe, (Economic Development Corporation of the English River First Nation in Saskatchewan), and PearTree Canada. Tamarack is also proud to support the socio-economic well-being of First Nations businesses in Northern Ontario via membership with the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association.
“Our interest is not just to ensure that miners are supplied with products at the lowest price. Our interest is to see that miners are supplied with the best products and prices for their operations, that regional advantages are maximized, and that we offer creative solutions to benefit the mining supply eco-system,” explained co-founder Ben-Schoeman Geldenhuys.
The response from the mining community has been enthusiastic and positive. Since beginning in October 2020, Tamarack has grown its membership of mining companies across Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba and Mexico every month and the Tamarack team has quickly grown as well to meet the demand.
Tamarack Mining Services continues to welcome outreach from mining companies that want to benefit from group procurement savings and services, from suppliers that want to expand their customer base and lower their cost of sales, and from communities that are interested in growing supply chain capacity in mining regions.