J.H. Fletcher & Co. completes acquisition of underground equpiment specialist Cannon Mining
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J.H. Fletcher & Co. completes acquisition of underground equpiment specialist Cannon Mining

Jul 21, 2023

J.H. Fletcher & Co. has completed its acquisition of the Cannon Mining division from Trident Maritime Systems Heavy Equipment Group. It said the acquisition will serve to further strengthen the current mining equipment product lines offered through both the J.H. Fletcher & Co. and Cannon Brands, as well as enhance the ability of J.H. Fletcher & Co. to support their growing customer base both domestically and internationally.

J.H. Fletcher & Co. was founded in 1937 by James Herbert Fletcher, a consulting engineer, to provide mobile equipment for underground coal mining. Fletcher was a pioneer in the design of rock drills to install roof bolts. Advancements in safety and productivity of roof bolting in the USA have always been associated with Fletcher, who invented and patented aspects of the automated temporary roof support system (ATRS). Fletcher expanded its product range in the late 20th century to include degasification drills, probe drills, mobile roof supports, remote operated roof drills, and scalers. In 2003, the equipment portfolio was expanded to include face jumbos with percussive hammer drills and a division was set up to focus on underground industrial mineral and hard rock mining.

Today, J. H. Fletcher & Co. engineers, manufactures, and supports custom-built equipment designed to meet a variety of specific mining and heavy industry needs. The focus continues to be on enhancing worker safety, operation productivity, and equipment reliability in underground mines. It states: "The acquisition of Cannon Equipment will provide over 30 years of experience building underground mining equipment for industrial mineral and metal mines. The Cannon portfolio that includes drill jumbos, scalers, and roof bolters which will further broaden J.H. Fletcher & Co's existing product lines. Additionally, the articulated frame utility vehicle product line will be a new introduction to the J.H. Fletcher & Co.'s line of equipment, including scissor trucks, crane trucks, man baskets, fuel/lube packages and more."

The Cannon equipment portfolio will remain intact and operate under the new name Cannon Mining Equipment, LLC. Previous Cannon Sales, Service, Parts, and Engineering teams will remain the same, maintaining uninterrupted product support. The primary change will be the location of parts support and machine assembly for domestic customers, with both functions shifting to the J.H. Fletcher & Co. facility in Huntington, WV. Cannon Mining Latin America will be operated as a subsidiary of Cannon Mining Equipment, LLC and handle the Mexican market directly.

There is quite a history to the Cannon brand. Oldenburg Group and its Cannon brand machines were famous in underground mining drilling and utility. The story began with Lake Shore which made equipment for iron ore mines and later became Lake Shore Engine Works. Then in 1938, Service & Supply Company of Iron Mountain merged with Lake Shore Engine Works and the company became Lake Shore Engineering Company. Wayne Oldenburg bought the company in 1987, when it became part of his Oldenburg Group.

In 2016, CEO and owner Oldenburg sold the group's mining and defence divisions to private equity firm JF Lehman & Co and it was renamed Lake Shore Systems Inc, but keeping the Cannon product brand as new division Cannon Mining and with production remaining in Claremont, New Hampshire but with a subsidiary Cannon Mining Latin America in Guadalupe, Zacatecas in Mexico. Lake Shore Systems then recently merged with Trident Maritime Systems, also owned by JF Lehman. Cannon machines include single and double boom jumbos, bolters and scalers such as the SV11 compact scaler, SV18/SV22/SV26 scalers and the SV45 very large scaler as well as the UV6 and UV11 utility machines. Traditionally the products have performed well in the underground hard rock room and pillar market, both for industrial minerals like limestone as well as in lead/zinc operations.