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Sandvik groundbreaking
Sandvik Mining and Construction broke ground this week for a facility at 2575 Alta Vista Drive. From left: Steve Antonni, Elko branch manager for Sandvik; Paul Painter, Sandvik area manager; John Walsh, Sandvik vice president of finance for mining and construction; Elko Mayor Mike Franzoia; Michael Norris, Sandvik after-market manager for the United States and Canada; Tim Crowley, president of the Nevada Mining Association; and Pat Laughlin, Laughlin Construction, general contractor for the project. Ross Andreson/Elko Daily Free Press

ELKO — Sandvik Mining and Construction broke ground this week for a $3.5 million Elko facility to better serve the mining industry.

“We plan to be here a long time. We’re at 25 people now and expect to see that number grow in the future,” Michael Norris, after-market manager for Sandvik operations in the United States and Canada, said at the ceremony.

“Sandvik came to Elko in 1995 with three people in the warehouse,” he said.

The 3.5-acre complex site is on Alta Vista Drive, where the new facility will provide 21,000 square feet of space, double what Sandvik has now on Idaho Street. Norris said this time Sandvik will be the owner, rather than leasing space.

“We’re committed to Elko. Elko has been good to us. We’re excited to be here,” said John Walsh, vice president of finance for Sandvik mining and construction.

Tim Crowley, president of the Nevada Mining Association, said too often the vendors who service the mining industry don’t receive as much attention as the mining companies, but they are important to the industry and to Nevada.

“You are putting people to work with a construction project,” Crowley said, adding that the project will allow Sandvik’s Elko branch to grow and provide more services. “This is a very positive spot on a very poor economy. Mining is doing its part to provide vibrant economic development.”

Walsh said the new facility should help Sandvik expand its sales and services to mines for surface mining operations. The majority of the current services Sandvik provides are to underground operations.

Elko branch manager Steve Antonni said Sandvik sells and services blasthole drills, crushers and conveyors for surface operations, as well as Cubex drills for surface and underground operations.

One of Sandvik’s major underground customers is Great Basin Gold’s Hollister Project in northwestern Elko County, where the company provides maintenance for all of the Hollister equipment, Sandvik’s and others.

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“We work at every underground site in Nevada,” Antonni said, whether for the producers or mining contractors. “We’re big underground in load hauling and drilling.”

The Elko branch is one of more than 20 locations in the U.S. and Canada.

The facility is slated for completion next summer.

The general contractor is Laughlin Construction of Elko, and Pat Laughlin said he expected to start work this week on the site.

“In addition to needed office space, this new building will have the space, cranes and testing facilities to fully serve our customers and any machines we support,” Sandvik Area Manager Paul Painter said in the company’s announcement on the groundbreaking.

The facility also will have a state-of-the-art bit shop to support the company’s blasthole drill tooling business and a high-tech clean room for repairing hydraulic components of customers’ equipment.

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