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“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” — Colin Powell, former U.S. Secretary of State Mining forms the foundation of Canada’s resource-rich history, but what does it take to achieve excellence in mining? Is it merely a return on investment? Happy shareholders? Or is it more? Throughout these pages read about companies that not only look to achieve profit within the mining industry, but do so strategically and with sights set on a healthy, vibrant future. These companies strive to achieve excellence in all things — from safety and environmental sustainability, to human resource strategy. Being good employers and making the happiness and health of their employees a top priority is only part of what makes them ‘excellent.’ While the process of mining is not new, the way in which companies work together is always evolving. Within these pages we explore those companies that serve the mines, making them run efficiently and safely. We’ve come a long way from digging in the earth hunting for pay dirt, but the excitement of mining is still there, and it’s palpable. We are proud to share a little bit of that excitement with you. Danna Bach Editor, Profiles of Excellence in Mining
Inside Moly-Cop Canada ...................................................... 4 CSC Electric Ltd........................................................... 6 Excel Personnel Inc..................................................... 8 Anvil Ironworks......................................................... 10 KGHM-International.................................................. 12 Industrial Equipment Manufacturing Ltd................ 14 Deloitte Corporate Finance â€” Mining ................... 16 Motion Industries .................................................... 18 Finning Canada ........................................................ 20 Rock Construction & Mining Inc. . .......................... 22
Kevin Dergez Keshav Sharma Director of Advertising Advertising Sales
Danna Bach Editor
Michael Coulter Designer
On the cover, KGHM-Internationalâ€™s Franke Mine in Northern Chile.
Kelly Funk Photographer
here is a reason Moly-Cop is the world’s leading supplier of grinding balls and grinding rods to the mining industry. Moly-Cop works to create the best product for its clients, while at the same time striving to meet best-practice standards within its own corporation. Moly-Cop was acquired by Arrium — previously OneSteel Ltd. — just over two years ago, making it part of a global group of nine other operations. “We use the collective intelligence of the global group and bring that to every area we service,” says Maurice Hindle, marketing and sales manager of MolyCop Canada, based in Kamloops, B.C. Best practices include a focus on safety and sustainability, while also creating the greatest value for customers. “We are close to the customer,” Hindle says, describing Moly-Cop’s network across North America and beyond. The Kamloops plant is a supplier to the majority of mines across Canada, Alaska, the Arctic and eastern Russia. Plants are strategically located around the globe, with Moly-Cop manufacturing centres in Peru and Chile, the United States, Mexico, Australia and Indonesia. In Canada, the Kamloops plant is able to serve a large geographical area because of its proximity to rail. Shipping to depots in North Bay, Thunder Bay, Ont. and Fairbanks, Alaska means customers take product as they require on a day-to-day basis rather than having to store it on site. “Our expansions are in areas of the world that have a lot of mineral reserves both proven and potential mineral reserves,” Hindle says. These potential reserves in Canada, specifically B.C., justify expansion plans at the Kamloops plant, which has been running at or near capacity for the
past three years. “We are committed to growing within the market. What drives us forward are our existing customers and our potential future customers,” he says naming Yellowhead Mining Company’s Harper Creek Project, as well as Thompson Creek Metal’s Mount Milligan and Imperial Metal’s Red Chris as examples. The expansion will approximately double Moly-Cop’s production capacity and construction is expected to begin shortly with completion in 2015. This growth assists Moly-Cop in meeting its current and future production goals, but will be done strategically, with the same dedication to environmental stewardship Moly-Cop has had for more than 25 years.
“We use the collective intelligence of the global group and bring that to every area we service.”
The process of creating the grinding balls is a closed loop. The water used to cool the equipment is put in a pond where excess lubricant is skimmed off and reused. The iron scale that comes off the grinding balls is recovered and sent to a nearby Lafarge plant to be used in cement. The water, now cool, is brought back into the plant to cool the machinery and for use in the post-forging heat treat process. While Moly-Cop has a permit to put the water back into the South Thompson River, the company has not done so for many years. The only water that leaves the facility is through evaporation or irrigation.
Moly-Cop Canada 250 Andover Cres. Kamloops, B.C.
Instead of heading to the landfill, scrap steel is sent either back to the supplier or to steel recyclers, and the vast majority of steel coming into the plant is recycled material. Since the B.C. plant opened in 1986 every effort has been made to run efficiently and sustainably. Their efforts have paid off in Moly-Cop’s consistent and sustained growth.
PHOTO: Grinding balls forged at the Moly-Cop production facility near Kamloops.
CSC Electric Ltd.
SC Electric is proud to power the mining industry.
The Kamloops-based, First Nations company, owned and operated by Clayton Scott, has built a reputation for providing exceptional service to mines in the Interior of British Columbia with plans to expand throughout the province. Scott launched CSC Electric 12 years ago with a primary focus on residential, commercial and industrial electrical. In 2009, after securing a contract with New Gold’s New Afton underground gold and copper operation near Kamloops, the company shifted focus and now primarily serves industrial clients. CSC’s relationship with New Gold provided an excellent training ground. Now, Scott and his team of more than 30 specially trained electricians are sought out by mining operations for their skills and expertise. Due to steady demand, Scott and his wife Susan have made it their top priority to hire strategically in order to create a reliable workforce. Part of those strategic hires involves employee development, specifically apprenticeship training. “A few years ago the provincial government talked about a shortage in trades because of the mines developing in the area, but we’ve got new apprentices coming through our programs and we have seen many apprentices through to journeyman.”
buying new homes and staying with their families. We like that we can keep families together,” says Susan. Developing such a solid partnership in the mining industry has allowed Scott to expand. Currently renting office and warehouse space, he recently purchased a lot and intends to move into the eight-bay building with office space by early 2014. CSC Electric makes sure the community benefits from its growth, and makes a point of giving back. The company supports organizations including the Kamloops Blazers, the Kamloopa Powwow, Project X Theatre Co., as well as hockey, softball and women’s national motocross.
The Industry Training Authority has recognized CSC Electric as a leader in providing apprenticeship opportunities.
Continued growth of CSC is also the rational behind Plateau Power, a partnership between CSC and Plowe Power to contract out to BC Hydro on high lines and substation projects. Key to developing good working relationships within the mining industry is a focus on safety, says Scott. “We send our electricians on courses to become certified because those are the expectations. We need to do things properly and safely.” It is this emphasis on safety that keeps the mining companies coming back to CSC. Scott is banking on a bright future for mining in British Columbia, and as a proudly First Nations company CSC hopes to be at the forefront.
The Industry Training Authority has recognized CSC Electric as a leader in providing apprenticeship opportunities and for helping to address a provincewide skills shortage.
6-452 Dene Dr. Kamloops, B.C. 250.851.6225
By developing employees, Scott says his company is able to keep people working close to home — a luxury not always afforded those who work in skilled trades. “(Employees are) in high-paying jobs, PHOTO: CSC boasts a team of more than 30 specially trained electricians.
Excel Personnel Inc.
ccording to the Mining Industry Human Resources Council, the future competitiveness of the mining industry in Canada depends on its ability to attract and retain skilled workers.
at a company.”
Finding skilled workers is what Karen Watt, CEO, and her team of Recruiters of Excel Personnel, does best.
“I’m happy to see our economy has gotten back up and running and that we’re able to place workers in the mining industry again.”
Watt launched the Kamloops-based employment-recruiting firm in 1992. In 2011 Excel Personnel expanded with branch offices in Prince George and Kelowna, in 2013 opened another branch in Vancouver/Lower Mainland and today services employers throughout Western Canada and Ontario. In the last three years, Excel Personnel has become the preferred recruiter to the mining industry — a status Watt is honoured to have, noting that Excel has gone from working with one mining company three years ago, to 14 today.
Since January 2013, Excel has placed 70 employees into jobs in the mining sector, in positions ranging from forklift drivers to underground mine electricians.
Currently, the No. 1 hiring challenge faced by mining companies is for Canadian Registered Safety Professionals (CRSP). It takes five years of on-the-job safety training before a person can even challenge the CRSP exam, says Watt, adding that those with the CRSP are the highest paid safety official on any mine site. “These are the types of professions we’re asked to recruit for,” she says, and because of Excel’s network those jobs are getting filled.
The mining industry turned to Excel in large part because of the reputation it built recruiting for the construction, mechanical and hospitality sectors.
Project managers, safety officers, design and mechanical engineers —Excel Personnel fills those positions with some of the 28,000 candidates in its database.
The mining industry is clambering for skilled workers, but many human resource departments are overwhelmed simply servicing existing staff. This is where Watt and her team of recruiters in four branches prove invaluable .
Strength is showcased by the speed with which Excel can match a job seeker to a suitable position. While Watt has been known to fill job orders within hours, generally positions stay vacant for no more than seven to 10 days.
“We are able to be that outsourced human resource department — it’s a lot easier for us to do the recruiting for the client because of our extensive candidate database and because of the skills we possess in recruiting and the processes we use to identify a candidate for a client.”
When jobs are filled, Watt and her team are routinely following up with both the client and the candidate, making sure both are satisfied.
The strategies to success at Excel Personnel are thoroughness and follow through. “We look at everything, from skills and abilities to personality and attitude to find the right fit candidate for every position. It’s not just about putting a warm body
“I’m happy to see our economy has gotten back up and running and that we’re able to place workers in the mining industry again.”
If a candidate is fired for cause or quits before a pre-determined amount of time, Excel re-recruits for no extra fee. Watt refers to it as “integrity,” and says that’s what has kept her in business all these years.
600-235 First Ave. Kamloops, B.C. 250.374.3853
“We help candidates find employment and employers find the right candidates for their position. It’s all very rewarding.”
PHOTO: Excel Personnel CEO Karen Watt is proud to be the preferred recruiter to the mining industry.
Anvil Ironworks Ltd.
or years Dave Schultz, Marvin Sorley and Darrin Berglund worked for, and basically ran, the day-to-day operations of someone else’s company. Having expertise in all areas required to run a business, they decided to go into business for themselves. They knew they could run the business better, more efficiently and with better outcomes, so 12 years ago they took an entrepreneurial leap and launched Anvil Ironworks Ltd. Anvil is a full-service steel fabricator specializing in structural steel and miscellaneous metals. When the business first began it existed of Schultz, Sorley and Berglund in a small shop rented to them by a friend. Today, the business partners employ 20 people in an 18,000 square foot shop on a five-acre parcel near Kamloops. Approximately 30 per cent of Anvil’s work comes from within the mining industry. Most recently Anvil completed the structural steel and miscellaneous metal decking of a new explosives plant at Teck’s Highland Valley Copper operation, as well as the supply and install of structural steel for an oil storage and containment building at New Gold’s New Afton Mine. “We all knew we could do things better and we knew we would be happier,” recalls Berglund who says that between the three partners there is more than 60 years of experience.
they want to be. “If you have too much work you can’t control it,” Berglund says, explaining that it’s important to be able to guarantee time lines and quality, something they have accomplished through strategic growth. “Clients know they are going to get a good product and good service and that we’re fair guys. We’re going to get the job done on time,” says Schultz. The effort has paid off in looking at the company’s controlled expansion through the years, and by also acknowledging return customers. The first work was brought to Anvil from area lumber and pulp mills, but there has been a steady shift toward servicing the mining industry with mine projects throughout the B.C. Interior.
“Clients know that they are going to get a good product and good service and that we’re fair guys. We’re going to get the job done on time.”
When Anvil first began taking on jobs it was forced to subcontract some of the work out. That ended when Anvil acquired the new shop and equipment in 2010. That acquisition allowed Anvil to expand into the 18,000 square foot shop and triple production almost overnight. “The new shop makes us self sufficient. We do work for our steel suppliers that they used to do for us,” says Berglund. A point of pride for the business partners is that regardless of how much the business grows, they’re always willing to work the smaller residential projects in with the large-scale industrial jobs, and attention to detail and a focus on customer satisfaction exists for all clients, large and small.
The partners built the business through simple hard work, some dedicated and talented employees and a commitment to integrity, says Schultz. Twelve years ago the partners drew up a five-year plan. They surpassed those initial goals within the first three years. Today, Berglund, Sorley, Schultz and the rest of the Anvil team are as busy as PHOTO: The 18,000-square-foot Anvil Ironworks shop.
9795 Wittner Rd. Kamloops, B.C. 250.573.1115
KGHM International Ltd.
s a wholly owned subsidiary of one of the world’s largest mining companies, KGHM International is well positioned to become a major player in the global mining industry. KGHM Polska Mied — S.A. acquired mid-tier copper company Quadra FNX Mining Ltd. in March 2012 and changed the name to KGHM International shortly thereafter. This formally linked Quadra FNX with the KGHM brand, Europe’s second largest copper producer, as well as the world’s largest producer of silver (according the World Silver Survey). While KGHM S.A. has a significant profile in Poland where it has been a key player since the early 1960s, the company is relatively unknown throughout North America. The acquisition of Quadra FNX was not only KGHM’s largest transaction but also a way to enter the North and South American mining scenes.
(Arizona and Nevada) and one in Chile (Region II). KGHM S.A. has another five mines Poland. Professionals have been attracted to the company because of its commitment to Zero Harm. The company not only strives to do no harm to the environment, but to make it better than it was before. Few companies can rival the KGHM International’s safety record. For example, the Robinson Mine project in Ely, Nevada, recently went one million hours with no Lost Time Accidents. Along with the focus on Zero Harm, KGHM International also emphasizes team achievement over personal gain. “We have a small company mentality within a big company,” says White. Part of that includes encouraging employees to be courageous.
KGHM International is poised as a growth engine to help the larger group internationalize.
“We’re saying ‘speak up for the things that are right.’ We’re interested in building a great mining company, and speaking up is courageous.”
“The intent is to be a global player, especially in copper and precious medals,” says President and CEO Derek White.
Building core values and sticking with them is key to successfully developing mines around the world, says White.
Currently, KGHM International is responsible for several mining operations in the United States, Canada and Chile.
“It doesn’t matter how big you get, the overall mentality doesn’t change.”
It also has several projects in the pipeline, including the Sierra Gorda Project in Region II, Chile, which is on track for production in 2014. This is a jointventure between KGHM International (55%) and Sumitomo (45%), producing both copper and molybdenum. Other projects farther along the horizon include the Ajax Copper-Gold project near Kamloops, B.C., the Victoria Project in Sudbury, Ontario and the Malmbjerg Project in Eastern Greenland. KGHM International operates five mines around the world — two in Canada (Sudbury), two in the United States
“...what you want to do is make sure you leave a good legacy with the community.”
KGHM International is successful because of the relationships it builds in the communities it operates. The company prides itself on giving back in a way that benefits the community over the long run. “Mining is a depleting business. Even though a mine may last 20 years, eventually it will end so what you want to do is make sure you leave a good legacy with the community.”
500-200 Burrard St. Vancouver, B.C. 604.689.8550
That’s done by supporting community projects, but also working with the local community to ensure that they remain healthy, long after the mine’s life has ended.
Left, underground at KGHM International’s Levack Mine in Sudbury, Ont. (JOSH CRUMP/KGHM-INTERNATIONAL). Above, KGHM International President and CEO Derek White.
Industrial Equipment Manufacturing (IEM) Ltd.
EM designs make mines work. One of the leading developers of bulk material handling equipment in British Columbia, IEM, or Industrial Equipment Manufacturing Ltd., is known for creating machinery that helps mines do the heavy lifting. The conveyor systems, belt feeders and apron feeders produced at the company’s 40,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Surrey, BC, are built primarily for mining operations, and each one is designed and built for long term service, says president and co-owner John Hards. “Every one of these machines is specially designed according to the customer’s needs. It’s very different from having a catalogue with standard machines described, and with list prices.” Few companies can compete effectively with IEM’s model, which involves cooperating with consulting engineers and the client, to custom-make site-specific equipment. The company also designs, builds and markets forest industry equipment including rotary batch debarkers and related equipment for pulp mills and energy plants. “Conveyers are relatively old technology and in some ways they’re pretty simple. But when you start applying them, especially in large industrial applications, there is a terrific amount of engineering design involved.” IEM’s Chief Engineer John Williamson has a lifetime of experience designing conveyor systems, and has excellent working relationships with consultants and customers. The conveyer system developed for New Gold’s New Afton underground gold and copper operation near Kamloops is a perfect example of a difficult challenge to design and build for a new setting.
The conveyer brings the ore up from underground and has four switchbacks, and much of it had to be bolted to the roof of the tunnels to allow truck access underneath, which called for unique engineering ideas. IEM has a lengthy history. Launched in 1953 as Industrial Equipment Company Ltd., or IECO, it was best known for selling machine parts to the pulp and paper industry in B.C. and Alberta.
“Every one of these machines is specially designed according to the customer’s needs.”
An American company purchased the retail portion of the business in 2002, but had no interest in the manufacturing shop and engineering capabilities. Hards and his business partner Joe Wurz, C.A., bought the manufacturing facility and renamed it to IEM. Under the pair’s management business began to boom. Last year saw IEM put through orders worth $30-million. When Hards and Wurz went into business they split ownership of IEM in half. Today, the employees own 30 per cent of the company; this means that when they work hard and profits are up, they see dividends. IEM and the people who work there are committed to the long term and there are strategies in place for growth. To increase the ability to meet customer’s needs for delivery of products in a relatively short time frame, IEM contracts out some of the work to excellent shops that have their own specific expertise. “There are people and companies in greater Vancouver that can do almost anything. If we have something we can’t do efficiently, we know the business that can do it and we subcontract to them.”
109-19433 96 Ave. Surrey, B.C. 604.513.9930
This means the client gets a high-quality machine, and due to IEM’s quality control procedures the product always meets IEM’s standards.
PHOTO: The conveyor system designed and built by IEM at use at New Gold’s New Afton mine.
Deloitte Corporate Finance - Mining
efore the lights go on, before the first employee is hired and the first equipment purchased, Deloitte is there. Best known as one of Canada’s leading professional service firms with a history dating back 150 years, Deloitte is using its considerable resources to create an unparalleled suite of services for the mining industry. “If we’re not in the mining business in Canada we’re not in business,” says Graeme Falkowsky, Managing Director for Deloitte and Corporate Finance Mining Leader for the Americas. Falkowsky arrived at Deloitte after 20 years of investment banking experience, including being responsible for BMO Capital Market Investment and Corporate Banking department on the West Coast. His role at Deloitte is to position the firm to best serve the mining industry. When companies come to Deloitte they ask two main questions: How do I raise money and what do I spend it on? “Without money this industry does not move forward. You cannot turn the drill and extract ore if you don’t have money.”
the compression of equity valuations, investors with particular industry expertise are active in deploying their resources. Finally, when it comes to mergers and acquisitions, as the mining industry operates on a global platform, Deloitte appears to be ahead of their competition. Few financial service providers can compete with Deloitte’s resources. With over 200,000 employees in almost every country in the world, there is always someone on the ground able to source mergers and acquisition information and proprietary ideas for a client. Building a business might need auditing, tax services, advisory and consulting, but there is so much more Deloitte offers, including its industry-unique cost reduction programs. For example, companies need advice on minimizing capital costs and maximizing safety. “If you look at mining projects around the world they’re running over budget in building and constructing these projects,” Falkowsky says.
And that’s where Deloitte comes in.
While high capital costs can undermine a business, safety concerns can destroy one.
“We’re the centre of excellence for corporate financial services to the global mining industry.”
“If you have an injury or a death on a mine site, it can literally shut you down or put you out of business.”
There are three main strategies Deloitte developed to serve its mining clients. The first strategy surrounds raising capital.
As a result, Deloitte has built a team to go to mining sites, assess data, review training programs, monitor maintenance routines and human resources and compensation systems; and from there provide unique safety strategies to clients.
“Most of the capital today is not being sourced through the TSX, it’s coming through strategic players in Asia. Asia is driving the current mining cycle and we’ve aligned ourselves there,” Falkowsky says, adding that Deloitte opened a Beijing office to serve this objective. Secondly, Deloitte is aligned with private equity — sophisticated pools of capital made up of investors searching for interesting opportunities — with
“Without money this industry does not move forward. You cannot turn the drill and extract ore if you don’t have money.”
“We’re having tremendous success with our predictive analytics. We’re really excited about the product and the mining companies are really keen to talk to us about it.”
Graeme Falkowsky Americas Mining Leader Corporate Finance Advisory Deloitte Four Bentall Centre 2800-1055 Dunsmuir St. Vancouver, B.C. 604.640.4947 email@example.com
Deloitte Corporate Finance is focused on assisting mining companies achieve their strategic and financial objectives.
PHOTO: Graeme Falkowsky (standing), and his team of professionals in the Vancouver Deloitte office.
n a mine site time is money. When equipment stops working and parts need to be replaced, they need to be sourced quickly and installed rapidly. Motion Industries, a supplier of maintenance, repair and operation replacement parts and services, prides itself on keeping the mining industry moving. The company formerly known as B.C. Bearing Engineers was acquired in 2010. Motion Industries is well known, with its parent, Genuine Parts Company, engaged in the distribution of automotive replacement parts, industrial replacement parts, office products and electrical and electronic materials dating back to 1928. Motion Industries has branches located throughout British Columbia in: Burnaby, Nanaimo, Cranbrook, Prince George, Kitimat, Kamloops, Quesnel, Abbotsford and Houston. “Having branches located near industry is one of the reasons customers keep returning,” says vice-president of sales and marketing Brent Pope.
material handling. Company-wide, there are more than 3,300 technically trained sales representatives making on-site service calls daily, not including the more than 200 dedicated product specialists staffing a technical support centre. If a mine needs a retrofit on a specific piece of equipment, Motion can make recommendations on the best product or products to use to achieve the desired outcome. “When our customers have a problem with a certain process or a part of their operation and they ask us for help, we use our expertise along with our manufacturers to find the best, most cost effective solution for them,” says Pope.
“When our customers have a problem with a certain process or a part of their operation they ask us for help.”
As is so often the case with industry, parts are needed immediately. Through building relationships with customers, Motion Industries stocks parts at a local level to reduce the risk of downtime. “The necessary products,” says Pope, “are almost always on the shelves.”
“This is value added. We live and work in the mining communities and many of our guys are long tenured, so they have a lot of experience providing solutions to the mining industry.” And that’s exactly how Pope views Motion Industries: “We don’t just sell parts, we try to provide solutions.” Motion Industries is a North American supplier and distributor with access to all the major product lines required by the mining industry. Motion Industries is able to offer access to 5.2 million industrial replacement parts required by the mining industry including: bearings, mechanical power transmission, electrical and industrial automation, hydraulic and industrial hose, hydraulic and pneumatic components, industrial supplies and
Motion Industries www.motionindustries.com
PHOTO: Motion Industries provides maintenance, repair and operation replacement parts and services to the mining industry
t’s easy to spot the giant yellow iron sold by Finning Canada at work on most mine sites in B.C. and Alberta. But for 80 years, it’s been the heavy equipment dealer’s dedicated employees and behind-the-scenes product support capabilities that have helped keep those mining operations humming. Last year, the company’s mining support business took a leap forward when it added the Bucyrus distribution and support business. The acquisition meant Finning added about 240 skilled employees to its 5,000-member team and could offer a wider range of products. “(The Bucyrus acquisition) really complemented the legacy that Caterpillar has built, and we have a much broader presence in the mining industry now as a result,” says Jim Harrison, general manager of Finning’s Kamloops region and coal and metals business development. Since the company’s inception in Vancouver in 1933, Finning employees have worked to support the mining industry; in fact, Finning’s first branch outside of Vancouver opened in Nelson in 1937. Salesperson Joe Adams served a number of mining customers in the area. Says Adams: “I remember being asked to call on a customer near Vanderhoof in the dead of winter. To get there, I went in stages by car, on horseback and even snowshoes. When I eventually arrived at my destination, all the customer wanted was literature on Caterpillar tractors for his 12-year old son!” Looking back on his own career, Harrison recalls a highlight — the introduction of the Cat 789, a 190-ton haul truck in 1988. “At the time, the 789 was the largest truck Caterpillar made,” he says. “Although it was a new mechanical-drive design, Finning and Caterpillar’s ability
to support the innovation helped us beat the odds and win the deal.” Since that time, Cat’s successively larger trucks which now top out at 400-tons, and the Finning support that keeps them rolling, have dominated the market in western Canada. Just as Cat equipment has evolved, so has Finning’s product support capability. “We offer not just equipment, parts and service. We go beyond that to offer complete solutions that help our customers develop maintenance strategies that will increase efficiency and reduce costs.” The range of support services includes Finning’s extensive branch network, maintenance consulting, mechanical availability guarantees, technology solutions, along with technician and operator training.
“(We) offer complete solutions that help our customers develop maintenance strategies that will increase efficiency and reduce costs.”
Success can only be maintained if the workforce at Finning remains strong, which is why safety is the company’s No. 1 priority. Over the last two decades, Finning’s safety record has improved dramatically. In the mid-90s, about 150 employees a year sustained injuries serious enough to keep them off work. So far in 2013, just two Finning employees have lost time due to an on-the-job injury. “The fact that we actually hurt those two people so that they could not be at work is not acceptable to us,” Harrison says, explaining that injury prevention will always be the company’s main priority, a commitment that comes from the top. “One of our values is: we care. I believe that’s why you see so many long-term employees at Finning. It’s our job as managers and leaders to make sure our employees can achieve their goals and get home safely each day,” says Harrison. Because people who start at Finning stay with Finning, the company is able to offer a significant value to customers.
PHOTO: Finning’s dedicated employees help keep mining operations humming.
1764 Kelly Douglas Rd. Kamloops, B.C. 250.372.9552 1.888.FINNING
Rock Construction & Mining Inc.
ny business owner can buy the right equipment. Building the right team, however, takes patience, commitment and effort. And it’s this team building that has allowed Peter Walker of Rock Construction and Mining Inc. to grow his company to the size it is today. Rock is a large scale drilling and blasting company based out of Kamloops and established in June 2002. At the time of launch, the business consisted of Walker, two equipment operators and a single drill. Today, Rock employs 85 people and runs 30 pieces of equipment in four offices nation-wide — Kamloops, Prince George, North Bay, Ont., and Wabush, Nfld. Walker has worked in the mining industry since 1994, and moved to B.C. in 1999. Before launching Rock, he worked as construction manager for Placer Dome Inc. in Vancouver, which later sold to Barrick Gold. While working within the industry saw a need, and with Rock he filled it. “More importantly I filled it with professional people. I always noted that companies would go to great expense to buy the best equipment, but anybody can buy gear.
“Right now we’ve slowed, coal has dropped off due to lower pricing and work has been discontinued.” To remain active, he’s shipped his equipment to other sites throughout Canada — iron ore mining in Ontario and hydro projects in Manitoba. “We’re able to maintain our growth and cash flow, but in different geographical areas.” Rock’s next big push will be into iron ore producing mines in Quebec. The expansion into Quebec is likely to grow the company by a further 25 per cent.
“People are our greatest asset and their safety is our greatest responsibility.”
While defining where the needs are and quickly getting equipment on site is key to maintaining growth, Walker insists none of it would be possible were it not for the team that he’s developed both within the head office in Kamloops and around the country. “This is a small industry and we’re always watching for people who will be a good fit, culturally, within our organization.” While the machinery comes at great cost, it’s the people of Rock that create the biggest return on investment. “People are our greatest asset and their safety is our greatest responsibility.”
2-734 Laval Cres. Kamloops, B.C. 250.828.1946
“Getting the best people is more important,” he says, noting that he’s learned if you employ the most skilled equipment operators, they want to work on the best machines. As a result, Walker’s crew use only the best equipment — sold and serviced by Cubex, Atlas Copco and Bucyrus. Thoughtful and controlled growth has been key to Rock’s viability. In 2012, Walker estimates 60 per cent of his business came from mining operations in B.C. By the end of the first quarter of 2013, that had dipped to 10 per cent.
SUBMITTED PHOTO: Rock Construction operates 30 pieces of equipment out of four offices nationwide.