Prospectors, geologists, and other mineral exploration professionals often travel to remote locations when looking for world-class ore deposits. Developing a promising site into full-scale mining operations therefore requires careful attention to shipping, logistics, and infrastructure.
“New mines need a partner they can turn to for guidance, and who is willing to be flexible as they get things off the ground,” says Madeleine Paquin, President and CEO of Logistec. “Our project management and operations staff are experts in what they do, and make us an innovative, hands-on partner every step of the way.”
In 2008, Logistec travelled to Baffin Island, Nunavut, to provide cargo handling and terminal management for an iron ore company that needed to deliver approximately 150,000 tonnes of samples to its customers for testing purposes. Logistec brought partners on board to help manage infrastructure development and coordinate shipping through the Canadian Arctic.
“Within two months, we’d filled three bulk carriers destined for Europe. This meant building a floating wharf and loading iron ore onto ‘hopper barges’ to bring the product from shore to deeper water in small batches,” says George Di Sante, Vice-President, Market Development at Logistec. “Conveyors were lined up in a series and the platforms on the water had to be designed to safely handle the cargo’s heavy weight.”
Logistec also assumed responsibility for installing a temporary dock, made sure that a qualified workforce was available at all times, and managed the supplies and equipment needed to meet the client’s tight schedule. Furthermore, Logistec ensured that the site was restored to its original condition by disassembling the dock at the end of the project.
“The North is a demanding environment, and we drew on this experience in Baffinland when we were approached to develop our current project in Deception Bay,” says Daniel Jodoin, Vice-President, Bulk Cargo at Logistec. “The lack of infrastructure in this isolated area meant that the client needed much more than just stevedores. We ship the mine’s entire production output, and manage the influx of supplies and machinery that the mine requires to operate. You need to plan carefully for the people and equipment you need as well as the duress of the extreme cold.”
With the help of qualified personnel, including local Inuit and fly-in,fly-out employees, Logistec manages a nearby nickel and copper mine’s entire terminal. This includes receiving and stockpiling truckloads of concentrates, a detailed sampling process, inventory control, and loading M/V Nunavik, the most powerful bulk-carrying icebreaker in the world. Logistec also handles resupply cargo operations, including containers and general cargo, as well as the mine’s vital supply of diesel fuel.