The Thyssen Drift
Isn’t it great to be in Saskatchewan! leave, it may be a while yet before we can expect an
invitation to return.
There are few industries that consistently experience
highs and lows like the mining sector does. For many of What makes the current downturn different for Thyssen
us, this is one of the things that make a career in mining from the past ones is that we are financially strong and
different and more challenging – therefore more diversified when it comes to the commodities we work in.
interesting – than one in other fields. During the good While producers of base metals are struggling, activity in
times, we’re busy and enjoy the successes. During the bad gold (the main commodity in which CMAC-Thyssen is
times – well, we’re mostly still busy and we enjoy finding active) and uranium has declined only marginally, and
ways of beating the odds until things improve. activity in potash is booming like we haven’t seen for
many decades. But most important of all - and this stands
For Thyssen, 2008 was another year of records. Most us aside from our competitors - we are based in
importantly, we achieved all our safety targets and ended Saskatchewan.
the year with the lowest Lost Time Injury frequency rate
and overall injury frequency rate in our history. Also, the Thanks to the foresight of my predecessors in the early
severity of the injuries that did occur continued to decline. seventies, who decided that there was a future for Thyssen
Due to the daily vigilance and hard work of all our in Saskatchewan even after all the potash shafts were
employees we make ongoing improvements in safety, and sunk, we are now in the best place a mining contractor
as much as that gives us a degree of satisfaction, we will can be. We are benefitting from Saskatchewan’s strong
never be content until we reach our goal of zero injuries. economy and high level of mining activity, and from the
increased availability of experienced and talented labour
that is willing to relocate or travel from Alberta, Ontario
and even further afield.
Over the years, we have remained loyal to our local
clients and they have been loyal to us. We have
maintained our expertise in ground freezing and sinking
shafts through the uniquely challenging ground conditions
that exist in our province, and it’s paying off for us as
well as for our clients.
Thanks to our ongoing activities in the uranium mines of
Saskatchewan, the gold mines of Quebec and the flurry of
activities in the Saskatchewan potash industry, Thyssen is
very well positioned to come through this current
Apart from being a safe year, 2008 also saw Thyssen set downturn stronger than ever. I’m grateful to all of our
new records for annual revenue and profit. Then, starting clients and our entire work force, who keep choosing
in the last quarter of 2008 and reaching full impact by the Thyssen, for making it possible to keep getting better at
end of the first quarter of 2009, the economic turmoil and everything we do.
resulting drop in commodity prices hit home. The area of
greatest impact for Thyssen was in the U.S., where
several large and long-term contracts came to an abrupt
halt. Although all of our clients expressed regret to see us President
Hi Everyone! Years of Service for 2008
There have been a lot of changes since our last newsletter. Jeff Almen – 5 years
At Thyssen, we’ve had projects shut down which resulted Gabriela Buttner – 5 years
in many layoffs in the U.S. and some layoffs in Canada as Rene Gelinas – 5 years
well. Associated Mining Construction Inc. (AMC) was Kris Lang – 5 years
formed (again) to do the Potash work in Saskatchewan Kim Ebert – 10 years
and Manitoba. There have been major corporations filing Judy Schwartz – 10 years
bankruptcy; there was the H1N1 virus that was going Mike Selinger – 10 years
around with people wondering if it was going to be a Steve White – 10 years
pandemic and the U.S. elected its first black President. Glenn Jacobson – 20 years
Change is a good thing, sometimes not a welcome thing Thyssen Mining and Mudjatik Thyssen Mining have
but it keeps us on our toes, and keeps challenging us to do approximately 360 employees combined.
We’ve changed the carrier of our group insurance
We have a few new faces at Head Office: benefits. Effective June 1, 2009 our new carrier is Great
Josh Forbes – Accounting Analyst West Life. Please watch for the new booklets and
Shaylene Livingston – Payroll Administrator information to sign onto the website for forms and other
Kami Kozenko – Accounts Payable Administrator information!
Kayne Ulmer – Project Engineer
Steven Dempsey – Project Engineer
Human Resources Coordinator
This has probably been the busiest year I’ve had in the 10 We’ve implemented our own wireless connection as well.
years I’ve been involved with the Information The dry office on site is connected via a hi-gain wireless
Technology department for Thyssen. Of course, a good antenna across a fairly large open area (with a bunch of
chunk of that has been devoted to our new AMC tall trees in the middle), back to the main AMC office.
company, setting up all the new employees with For the distance and all the trees the signal has to travel
computers, and many with Blackberries and iPhones. through, the signal appears to be running strong and
allows both offices to be connected together over a vast
The Scissors Creek site got off the ground near the end of open space providing access to the file server on site and
June, with the offices getting wired up for network extending the phone network.
connectivity. We implemented some new technology at
that site which we’ve never done in the past. Some are Speaking of phones, the Scissors Creek site is our first
working like a charm; others are a work in progress. location to be running only VoIP phones over an internet
connection. The phones connect back to our Regina
The main office complex is connected to the internet network giving them local Regina numbers and direct
through a wireless connection provided by a company extension calling within Thyssen’s network. This has
called RFNow. There is a tower mounted outside our enabled the employees on site to have full
building which connects back to a tower on the brine pile, communications months before phones would’ve
which connects to a tower on the headframe, which otherwise been available to them on site.
connects to a tower at the AMEC offices (there might be a
few more towers in there, I tend to lose track of all the But phones, the technology medium that has been around
hops). From there, the connection turns into a T-1 line and for so many years, seem to have the most issues. Cell
back out onto the internet. service is nearly non-existent on site without a signal
booster running. The Blackberries that people are using
seem to be suffering from build quality issues and a few
are literally falling apart and have had to be replaced. And sometimes dropping their calls. It’s a work in progress to
the Mitel VoIP phones being used on site are quite get these phones running perfectly, but I love a challenge.
particular about having a perfect connection available to
use. When the quality of the internet line degrades above
a certain level, via weather, excessive jitter, or large
amounts of traffic (ie. email, internet browsing, file IT Coordinator
transfers, etc.), the phones don’t like it, and are prone to
From Jim Haines: Since we are on the topic of promotions and fun, Josh has
already been promoted to “Dr. Forbes.” “Thanks for the
In my past few newsletter articles, rather than tell title Volker, but where is the raise?” he jokes. It’s also
everyone about how many debits and credits that the worth noting that he has been placed on the VP of
finance and administration group has processed in the last Operations “Most Wanted” list (but in a good way).
year, I have attempted to write about topics such as
TMCC’s contribution to our province’s health care, This friendly environment made us both feel welcome and
tourism in Saskatchewan, tourism in Regina, and other fit into the weave of the Thyssen tapestry quickly and
topics that offer a bit more insight into TMCC’s comfortably.
community. In reviewing my prior articles, it is apparent
that these are the views of someone who has been around Another aspect young people tend to worry about is the
the company for quite some time and who sees things as transition from school to the working world. While school
he thinks they are. I thought this newsletter article should may have trained us on the technical aspects of
incorporate a breath of fresh air, so I have turned my accounting and we seem to be holding our own in that
column over to the two newest people in the finance and respect, we didn’t receive any industry specific training
administration group to give you their views on our fine and are struggling with the mining jargon. While our
company from two people who are just a few months into understanding of these terms grows daily, there are still
starting their careers. With that introduction, I present to many we don’t know, but at least now we know when
you Kami and Josh… someone is talking about a “Jumbo,” they are talking
about a machine and not a hot dog at the ball park.
Hi, Josh and Kami here.
As the saying goes “all good things must come to an end,”
Before we get down to serious business, we would just and this article is no exception. Since there is still much to
like to point out that Calgary made it to the playoff this do and few hours left in the working day, we must say
year and that Edmonton did not. Sorry to all you Oilers goodbye. On behalf of the entire Finance and
fans, but Flames RULE! Better luck next year. Administration department, we wish you all the best.
Now down to business. We both agree that the first thing
we noticed is that TMCC is a very busy place. Kami
practically had to swim out of her sea of paperwork – Vice President, Finance
mainly invoices to write this article. As new hires at
Thyssen Mining, we weren’t really sure what we were
getting ourselves into or what to expect. After the first Accounting Analyst
few days it became apparent that the people working here
were very affable and promoted a “work hard but have
fun” kind of attitude. Accounts Payable Adminis trator
All for One – The Meerkat Way constantly teaching their young ones of the dangers, but
they also practice what they preach.
By the time this newsletter has hit the presses, a majority
of you should be familiar with “Safety - The Meerkat Again, this is also a common scenario in the workplace -
Way.” It has been fun presenting to everyone this the Supervisor takes a risk that he would chastise an
interesting way of thinking as a group. How the Meerkat employee for. A Project Manager who doesn’t have his
culture will evolve in the Thyssen world will be training up to date, or circumvents the site orientation
motivating to observe. because he doesn’t feel it is necessary since he is not one
of the workers, or feels his experience is adequate.
You can hear people talking about it in coffee rooms, or Perception is then that safety is not as important as being
catch co-workers calling each other Meerkat, as well as inconvenienced. Do you see how this can be a problem?
saying “I’m the Meerkat today!” Like it was said in the Do you think people can feel that safety is not as
presentations, if nothing else it gets you talking about important as people say?
watching out for each
other. Really, is that such The discussions that have been generated from this
a bad thing, helping out? program are very beneficial to the management teams to
Watching out? No! get a sense of how Thyssen is perceived at the different
levels of safety. Are we “dependent”, “independent” or
Like any team, everyone “interdependent”? The general agreement was that
has to work together for Thyssen Mining was at the independent stage and moving
the common good, and toward the interdependent. This is a great sign which
what better good than indicates growth and stability in our workforce and our
everyone’s safety. So “Safety Culture”.
should you practice this safety at home? At play? Well
sure, why not!! If you see a neighbor struggling with a These are a few things to reflect upon, not only for the
load, stop and lend a hand. If you find a piece of debris on workplace but also in your
the road in your neighborhood, and it is safe to do so, stop everyday life. Take the
and remove it before someone gets hurt or damages a time to practice safety,
vehicle. lend a hand, share a kind
word, coach and praise.
There are things that can been seen if you look around – Leave the heavy-handed
that kind of make you wonder. For example, you take the techniques for when
kids out for a bike ride… “Remember kids, put on your you really need to be
helmet!” What about you the parents, do you put on your heard.
helmets? How about this classic scenario, going boating
and the parent sits on their life jacket and makes the kids Have a Safe Summer being someone’s Meerkat…
wear theirs. Doesn’t make much sense, does it? This can
be seen frequently, parents making their kids practice
good safety and they don’t. Perhaps we can learn a thing
from the Meerkats in that department. Meerkat’s are Manager of Safety
It has almost been a year since the last drift article and it equipment it is delivered to the Regina Shop for
seems like it was just last month. Time flies when you are inspection, data information, and to assign a unit number
having fun! The best thing about the due date of the drift for tracking the equipment location and maintenance costs
article is it always comes around summer which puts while on site. All equipment is then shipped from Regina
everyone in a good mood, especially after the long hard to the appropriate site. When the equipment is shipped
winter that was had in Saskatchewan. internationally the shop is also responsible for importing
and exporting according to the international laws. It is
As you are all aware, there have been many changes in necessary to make sure all shipments are imported or
the mining industry over the last year which has created exported in a timely and cost saving manner. Any delays
some adjustments at our jobsites and it has also impacted can cause loss of production on a site level or in the shop.
the scheduling of equipment rebuilding in the shop. With
some jobsites closing and mobilizing to new ones, the As part of Thyssen Mining’s Preventive Maintenance
priority list for the rebuilds has dramatically changed. Plan we have centralized purchasing for all of its jobsites,
which operates under the shop. All sites are responsible
Along with the changes to our existing jobsites, Thyssen for locating and pricing of site requirements, the orders
Mining has had the pleasure of being a part of the creation are then entered and tracked in the shop office. This is
of 2 new joint venture companies. Jetcrete North America necessary to make sure all costs relating to equipment,
and AMC are two newly formed companies that have also parts and labour are assigned to the correct assets. This
added to the shop’s ever demanding equipment needs.
Thyssen is currently rebuilding a Double Drum Hoist that information is prudent in determining the future of the
will be used to sink the potash shaft at Rocanville. The equipment, maintenance planning and overall equipment
rebuilding and updating of the hoist has come with many costs.
challenges. Just to find the shop floor space that is
required has forced us to be creative even in a facility that All of the everyday occurrences in the shop would not be
has more than 20,000 square feet. The hoist has required possible without the cooperation of all the jobsites and
the majority of our time and facility space. Head office personnel. Working together always makes
everyone’s jobs easier and more enjoyable. We are
We are also working hard to provide room and time for looking forward to the remainder of the year and the
the Normet Spraymec repair that is currently underway challenges to come. As always, I sign off by thanking all
for Jetcrete North America. This unit along with a Normet the great employees of the Regina Shop. Tim, Scott,
Transmixer will be repaired and ready for quick Kris, Phil, Kyle, Tom, Devin, Matt, Judy and Andrea,
mobilization when the time comes. great job and thanks for a great year.
The Regina Shop is not only a rebuild facility for all our
equipment fleet but also the receiving location for all our
new equipment. When Thyssen Mining purchases new Shop & Equipment Manager
Hello from Cigar Lake… Congratulations to all involved as this work was
completed safely and according to plan. Cameco is in the
Shaft # 1 is progressing with the remediation, which process of analyzing various options in order to complete
includes the drilling of 12 injection and monitoring holes, shaft sinking.
removing services and dredging sand from the 420 m
level shaft station, using remotely operated vehicles Our management team consists of Ray Hagel & Rick
(ROV). Once the area is prepared, a grout filled inflatable Wist (Superintendents) Val Schwindt & Darrel Zimmer
barrier will be deployed. The injection holes will then be (Safety & Training) Don Drinkwater (Maintenance)
utilized to back fill the area, sealing off the inflow. We Larry Wilda & Jack Lemon (Shift Supervisors).
look forward to this work being completed and
dewatering the underground.
In late 2008 the remediation of shaft #2 started, the work
included shaft dewatering, installing a new pipeline, Contract Administrator
installing skid mounted 58 hp pumps to provide additional
emergency pumping, and securing the shaft bottom.
Coming into the mining aspects of McArthur River I find This year has been a very busy year for Mudjatik Thyssen
myself looking forward to coming to work every morning Mining at McArthur River. Jack Korppi heads the show
to share a cup of coffee with the MTM employees of the as Senior Project Manager, alongside with him is Kevin
site, as everyday there’s something to be learned. I find Kaspick – Project Manager. We welcomed Jeff Almen
myself learning new things, from listening to old miners as Superintendent. Also, Dave McIntyre as our new
stories, both good and bad, or listening to the crews Northern Operation Manager.
before they head underground. I also find myself
wondering many things and asking endless questions of Rene McKay and Ralph Tschuncky continue to do well
“What is that?”, “How does that work”, “What does this with their role as Mine Captains, along with the lead
mean?” or just plain old “I don’t get it”, good thing that miners Roger “Chico” Genest, Dan Aitken, Wes
Jack Korppi, Kevin Kaspick, and Jeff Almen, know Abrahamson, and new to the team Ron “Bear” Daypuk.
what’s going on! The management team here at McArthur Both Mine Captains and Lead Miners have recently
River have considerable mining experience, and I mean moved into their own office, finally Jack, Jeff and Kevin
considerable… With the amount of years between them, I can have peace!
can actually say it is longer than I have been alive. With
that being said… Employees at the site reached the milestone by
completing development in Bay 21. With the Alpine now
free from completing Bay 21, it has been moved to 510
M.L. – 8225, and has also been redesigned to have an
enclosed cab to help reduce radiation exposure and silica
dust. Upcoming cementing, services, and ducting to be
completed in 530M.L.Bay 21, then the freeze drilling
begins. As the old ore body slowly runs out, production at
McArthur River will begin on a new ore body in the near
Our workforce has downsized a bit in the last few months,
but we are still busier than ever. At approximately 102
persons, there is a lot going on. With Corrine Caisse and
Angela Poppel we know that everything is taken care of
in the office, and helping as much as they can with some
of the safety aspects on site. With MTM introducing the
new and improved safety modules, McArthur River
Rene McKay at Bay 21 breakthrough welcomed Steve Alexander to help Safety Trainers
Dennis Dubasov and Vincent Buckley provide
employees with training modules and assessing their
practical skills. The training is ongoing, and therefore Deere Tractors, a new Aliva, and a 2nd MacLean Bolter
these three must keep going on, as part of our to the fleet of equipment, the Master Mechanic – Albert
commitment to striving for excellence in Safety. In Chudy, and Maintenance Foreman Richard Larocque
September of 2008, we reached the 4 year milestone of no have been very busy ordering in parts, and going through
LTI’s, but more recently an incident occurred that has all the equipment manuals, its hard to keep up!
caused us to start over again and this time we are going to
try better! Recently MTM was awarded the Shaft #3 Job. Under
Todd James, the Shaft #3 crew will be installing a pair of
rigid ducts from 530 m level to surface, for a ventilation
upgrade. This will increase the manpower here on site
until the project is completed.
Also we have had Scott Johnson from Jetcrete North
America on site with Sven Doerr and Len Turtle
assisting our site with shotcreting for the last few months.
They have helped us on issues of proper and more
efficient means of shotcreting along with maintenance of
our shotcrete fleet of equipment. Thanks once again.
Pat Sheridan is still off, and as every day goes by, we are
wishing him full recovery.
The mining version of getting strung up on the flagpole by Corrine Caisse
your underwear. Actually it was fall protection training… Site Clerk
At the rate which development is going, as well as the
addition of a new Tamrock 6 Yard Scoop, 2 new John
Hello from Eagle Point, commissioned. The new Tamroc bolter has been put into
service and this will help the development crews greatly.
The ducks, geese and eagles have finally started showing We are still waiting for delivery of the next two shotcrete
up and the bears are now roaming around. 2009 is shaping trucks, Sand dryer and Lube truck.
up to be a good year here at Eagle Point.
We have just received two of the four new shotcrete
trucks and we are eagerly waiting for them to be
at Eagle Point. The diamond drilling program has been
very successful this past year and hopefully for years to
We have had many changes here at Eagle Point this year
with the welcome change of now having two shift bosses
on each crew for a total of eight Shift bosses. This has
helped out greatly with large number of men and the mine
growing daily. We are diligently working on our safety
program here at Eagle Point and with all the changes we
have made in the last month we are starting to see the
benefits. Well from everyone here at Eagle Point we wish
you all a safe and healthy summer.
It looks like we are going to be seeing new offices here at Project Coordinator
Eagle Point later on in the year. According to the general
manager Dave Rezansoff at our last town hall meeting
things are looking really good for the life of the mine here
There’s a patch of muskeg near the edge of Wollaston This is where TMCC came into the picture, as the experts
Lake hundreds of meters north of the Eagle Point mine in drilling raises with their Raise Bore division. Hence,
portal in Northern Saskatchewan, where back in June after some discussions with Cameco and what they
2007, a Britton Brothers (now Boart Longyear) diamond specifically required, and suggestions from TMCC on
drill rig was situated. Its mission, to dill exploratory holes how it could be accomplished, the Exhaust Air Raise #5
through the spongy muskeg in search of a new Uranium (or EAR #5) Project was created.
ore body for future reserves for the Cameco owned mine.
Basically, the plan was to drill a 4.3m diameter raise from
The findings were good, and planning commenced to surface to a depth of 232m and install an exhaust fan on
develop the mine further to reach these reserves. One top of the raise collar to pull contaminated air from out of
important phase of the planning for development was to the mine while drawing a fresh supply into the newly
get fresh ventilation to that part of the mine though an developed area. Even though it sounds like a basic plan,
exhaust raise, as good ventilation and exhaust is very there are some quirks to it that made this project a special
critical in a Uranium mine to keep radiation levels at a challenge in its own way.
Boart drill rig drilling grout holes Grout and fabrication Armadillos
Firstly, the bedrock for which to set the raise bore drill on thaw frozen water lines and limbs while keeping the
for drilling, and the ventilation infrastructure to be equipment running. 7.5m casings were installed in the
installed on later, is covered by approximately 8m of overburden to stabilize it so the grout holes could be
muskeg or overburden. Secondly, seeing that the location drilled and eventually accept over 95,000kg of cement.
is close proximity to the shore of Wollaston Lake, the
water table happens to be approximately 6m above the As the casings were being installed, grout holes were
bedrock. And thirdly, a pilot diamond drill hole and drilled to a series of staged depths and grouted through a
Golder report showed an unwanted inflow of ground 9.5m surface packer that reached into the bedrock.
water at certain depths of the proposed raise bore hole. Primary holes were drilled to depths of 27m, 50m, 85m,
120m, and 125m while secondary holes were drilled to
TMCC proposed to tackle these challenges in four phases: depths of 22m, 45m, 80m, and 120m. About a week into
the drilling and grouting, the crews started to rotate and
1. To do a grout cover do reduce the inflow of by this time, Miles Grayson, Ed Shatula, Rod (chicken-
ground water by drilling NQ diameter holes with man) Chalus, Dustin (ducky) Chalus, and Kyle
a diamond drill around the perimeter of the Stromme wanted in on the Northern Saskatchewan in
proposed raise bore hole and inject grout into the March experience. By the end of March, Linden Ross
water bearing fractures. and Brian Kowalchuk came on site as Superintendents
2. Stabilize the overburden through a freeze curtain and relief for Al and Rick.
by drilling with a 61R and installing freeze pipes
at a perimeter of 10.6m wide to a depth of 11m.
3. Excavate the overburden to a 4.9m wide by 8.2m
deep hole inside the freeze curtain while securing
it with split sets and screen, then construct a
4.9m wide by 8.2m deep concrete collar so the
raise bore drill and the future fan will be at a
higher elevation than the water table sealing off
any surface water inflow.
4. Drill and ream with a RBM7 for a 4.3m by 232m
raise bore hole creating the exhaust air raise.
Sunny day of drilling
Drilling, grouting, and moving of the drill rig continued
into April. As the holes were getting deeper, water tests
were being taken to monitor the water inflow and also
effectiveness of the grout curtain. Crews continued to
rotate and by this time Larry Elian and Carter Crohn
had joined the grouting party while Larry Kraft came in
for a two-week stint as well.
Moving into May, the holes were getting deeper, the
York grout pumps water inflow getting higher, and VK packers were
installed at various depths of the grout holes. Grouting
The first phase started with mobilization on March 3, through the diamond drill rods that install the VK packers
2009. Al Turtle, Rick Simpson and their start-up crew of was used to gain efficiency in getting the desired pressure
Terrance Turtle, Erasmo Andrade, Larry Fisher, of grout to the lower depth fractures. This slowed the
Doug Kosowan, Sheldon Hosaluk, Barry Prall, Lee grout program considerably as now while grouting a hole,
Tatlow, and Brad Reynard along with the Boart the drill rig is consumed since it is being involved in the
Longyear crew were met with balmy March temperatures grouting process. Drilling while grouting can no longer be
of –40 C and colder. Equipment, gear, sea-cans, and simultaneous. This tested the patience of the Boart drillers
Armadillos were unpacked and set up in these conditions and also the TMCC workers, but it never broke them as
and a shortly after the start up of drilling the grout holes they kept their composure even though complacency was
began. Right off the bat the challenge of the job itself was always lurking in the background. Even through all of
tainted with the daily ritual of trying to continually un-
ensure effectiveness of the grout curtain. Each of these
tests holes were pressure grouted as well. The 7th test
hole was finished and grouted on June 1, 2009. This
signaled passing water tests in the four quadrants of the
raise perimeter, and acknowledged effectiveness of the
grout curtain. After 35 holes and 3,597m of drilling, the
first phase of the project was declared completed by
Cameco and steps to move forward to the second phase
On the evening of June 1, 2009, the crews started the task
of demobilizing the Boart drill rig and grouting gear.
Equipment no longer needed was being washed, scanned
for radiation, and packed up so it could be sent off site.
Grout casings sticking out at surface were cut off, and
preparations of the site for the freezing phase were being
Idle freezeplant in a May 12 blizzard done.
this, they found a way to work safe and keep their On June 3, 2009, the 61R officially started drilling the
workplace compliant while constantly gaining accolades first hole for the freeze pipes, and marks the start of Phase
from the many Cameco safety inspectors and supervisors. 2. This is a “to be continued” so to find out how this part
They deserved the respect they received not only from of the project plays out, you will have to tune into the
Cameco, but also from all of us at TMCC that they next edition of the Thyssen Drift on the same Bat-
Ed Shatula, Monica Bernard (Cameco), and Eagle in nest at Eagle Point near EAR #5 access road
Sheldon Hosaluk - final pressure of last test hole. entrance (the site sentry)
By the middle of May, 28 holes were drilled and grouted,
and the drilling of the test holes commenced. Now even
Paul Dube and eventually Tim Horne decided they Project Superintendent
needed a break from Head Office and did some time on
site. 7 test holes were drilled and water tests taken to
Following the completion of the Orion South shaft which
was sunk to 210 meters, the crews began to excavate the
bulk sample in very challenging ground conditions to say
the least. Thanks to Jeff Almen (Project Manager),
Larry Fisher (Mine Captain), and the mining team for
safely completing 700 meters of lateral development
providing 30,000 tonnes of Kimberlite to be processed.
Shannon Dayson (Safety & Training), Steve Major
(Surveyor), Myron Ewanus (Master Mechanic) &
Stephanie Green (Office Clerk) assisted in making this
project a complete success. Shore Gold is currently
focused on completing the prefeasibility for the Star
Diamond Project and possible production decision in
Over the past year, we have had 14 men working at many more changes coming over the next 3 years due to
Agrium. There’s an 8-man crew rehabilitating collapsed their expansion plans.
drifts in different parts of the mine. We are cutting these
drifts with a Dosco Miner and hauling the muck away We have one supervisor overseeing both of these projects
with a Scoop Tram or Torcar, running 2-man crews, 4-on and they are both going well.
& 4-off, 7 days-a-week, 12-hour shifts, days & nights. We
also have a 5-man crew working in and around both We hope to have years of work at Agrium. It is a great
shafts, doing all kinds of shaft work. We’ve installed place to work.
around 7,000 new tubbing bolts in #2 Shaft and installed
three new 4-inch fiberglass pipe lines with two more pipe
lines to go in this summer.
Also, lots of steel has been changed out due to rust.
Changes have been made to their skipping system, and
G’day Everyone! Also big thanks goes to the guys at CMAC-Thyssen for
their assistance in putting together the first of the Tele
I hope you are all enjoying the warmer weather we are Remote Shaft lining units in their work shop over in Val
now getting as I know I d’Or.
Who is Jetcrete North America?
Being my first time
having to write an article Jetcrete North America is a joint venture with Thyssen
for the Thyssen Drift I Mining Construction of Canada and Jetcrete Australia
would firstly like to thank everyone at Head Office, the established in 2008.
workshop and around the sites for their cooperation and
assistance since starting up over here with Jetcrete North
Who is Jetcrete Australia? The Future of Jetcrete North America?
With a background of over 25 years in concrete spraying With purpose built equipment in a ready to go state it is
and manufacture, Jetcrete Australia has established itself our aim over the next couple of years to become the
to become the largest underground provider of shotcreting premier provider of shotcrete services to the North
services in Australia. It is also part of the Byrnecut American underground market and we at Jetcrete North
Mining Group, Thyssen Mining’s Australian sister America look forward to working with you all at some
company. They currently work at 15 sites full time in stage in the near future
Australia employing in excess of 150 people in addition
to Tele remote shaft lining and campaign works.
In 2008, Jetcrete Australia sprayed in excess of Joint Venture Manager
130,000m3 of shotcrete and also manufactured and
delivered 60,000m3 of General Purpose Concrete and
40,000m3 of Cement Aggregate Fill.
AMC – Then senior engineer in June of 2008. They were the first to be
hired under AMC. This followed with a site project
The start of shaft sinking manager and deputy project manager in August of 2008.
in Saskatchewan for This would be the initial team for the Rocanville project
AMC in the early 1960’s that would see the company through to the remainder of
used freezing technology 2008. The name of the Rocanville shaft project changed
from Germany. This is to the Scissors Creek No. 3 Ventilation Shaft in
not new information, November of 2008.
however, the existence of
Thyssen Mining Construction of Canada Ltd. (TMCC) Along with PotashCorp, Agrium Potash began
was greatly attributed to Amalgamated Mining discussions with AMC and Thyssen Mining for building a
Construction Ltd. (AMC) whom was incorporated in May new potash mine in Saskatchewan. AMC began looking
of 1960 and sank 9 shafts in the Saskatchewan potash. for a project manager to oversee this venture. The project
AMC Ltd. was an original shareholder of AMC-Harrison manager selected for this project began in January, 2009.
Ltd. In 1969, AMC-Harrison Ltd. was changed to AMC
Construction Ltd. In 1972, AMC Construction Ltd. was AMC Status (Apr. 2009)
changed to Thyssen Mining Construction of Canada Ltd.
Freeze Wall Progress
AMC – Now
Freezing of ground to facilitate shaft sinking through
Since 1972, AMC has not been active in Saskatchewan water bearing strata is not a new concept, although the
and was struck from the Saskatchewan corporate register systems that were used in the past have been improved
in 1979. AMC re-emerged in 2008 to facilitate the need to through advances in technology. An example of this
sink further shafts in Saskatchewan potash. Thyssen technology is the gyro-surveying of freeze holes while
Mining formed a joint venture with JS Redpath Ltd. and drilling without interruption. Freeze holes are being
called this new company Associated Mining Construction accurately drilled to within a 0.5m radius tolerance to a
Inc. or “AMC”. This new company was incorporated on depth of 600m.
May 22, 2008.
At present AMC is in the midst of freeze hole drilling at
AMC in 2008 site. The freezing and liner design was subcontracted to
Deilmann-Haniel of Germany. Using the information
In March of 2008, AMC began discussions with Potash obtained from the pilot hole that was completed in mid-
Corp. about a recent announcement of an expansion to December 2008, the freeze system was designed.
one of their operations in Rocanville, SK. Soon after,
AMC began working in association with Thyssen Mining Nabors Drilling out of Calgary was selected to drill the
and JS Redpath on the engineering phase of the project. freeze holes and install the freeze casing. Drilling began
in late February and was completed on schedule and to
AMC immediately began the search for qualified and the required accuracy. Additional to the freeze holes,
experienced personnel to work on this new and exciting several temperature monitoring holes were drilled to a
project. A general manager was selected in May and a depth of 584m.
specific depths in the shaft. In other areas we are
presenting options for comparison to assist them in their
selection. Options are compared with regard to safety or
risk, schedule and cost. Composite liners generally take
longer to install thus adding to the cost.
2 drill rigs drilling on a tight circle
Shaft Liner Design
Shaft liners can consist of several types. The most
common type is concrete. For the potash mines sunk in
Saskatchewan in the past, most of them used what is
known as tubbing. These shafts used cast steel segments
that are bolted together in rings and placed in high water
inflow areas to prevent water from entering the shaft after
the ground thaws. Tubbing rings are not always “totally”
water-tight but they minimize the amount of water to be
dealt with while the mine is in operation. A third lining
system is a composite system. This method uses a A cross section of a tubbing liner segment.
combination of a welded steel liner, concrete and steel
panels that are either welded or bolted together similar to OUTLOOK IN 2009 FOR AMC
tubbing rings. The difference for the composite liner is
that it is intended to prevent any water from entering the Scissors Creek Project
shaft and this means that the liner is fully hydrostatic.
At present, the construction camp is in operation at the
Scissors Creek Site. Initially the 84 man camp is housing
the sub-contractors hired to construct the site buildings
and headframe foundation, both started in June of 2009.
Surface construction is expected to take the remainder of
2009 and the start of 2010 to complete. Sinking is
projected to start in first quarter 2010.
Pre-feasibility activities will continue going forward to
progress such things as site location, lining and freezing
design, pilot hole plan, EIS documentation and assisting
the client in various other activities.
A cross section of one type of a composite liner system
The first work on site will be the drilling of the pilot
For some of AMC’s planned shafts, our clients have holes. Logging and testing of the core is to be conducted
selected the liner option based on the requirements at very
which will feed into the lining and freezing design for the CONCLUSION
The new AMC company has many opportunities to
BEYOND 2009 FOR AMC
become the “Premier Shaft Sinking Entity” in potash.
AMC shareholders and personnel will strive to make this
The PotashCorp Scissors Creek Shaft Project will be the happen. We are currently looking for new opportunities in
focus for AMC, being the first project involving sinking the Saskatchwan Potash and other areas in North America
and lining of a potash shaft in Saskatchewan in over 40 where shaft sinking is required with similar ground
years. AMC’s success will hinge on how we perform on conditions that could implement ground freezing
this project. Other aims for AMC following the start of technology – our specialty.
Scissors Creek are to assist the various other companies
that are planning to build new potash mines in
Saskatchewan and to ensure to be their contractor of General Manager-Operations
choice when it comes to the sinking of the shafts.
The Scissors Creek Shaft Project has been progressing February. The freeze drilling program that consisted of 32
well since the last newsletter. Considerable work has been freeze holes and 5 temperature monitoring holes started at
performed with regard to building the project team, the end of February, with the successful completion in the
standards and policies, engineering and design, and middle of May. The area for the camp and construction
construction. The project team is continuing to be formed, office had been cleared and prepared earlier in the spring,
at present AMC has twenty people working on the with the camp construction completed and commissioned
Project. for full occupancy May 25.
Great effort has been put into development of AMC and Preparation at the shaft site has continued throughout May
project related policies, procedures, and standards. TMCC in preparation for construction of the remainder of the
and J.S. Redpath personnel, along with our project people surface facilities and infrastructure, including a
have been progressing well in this regard. With the construction office, mine dry, hoist house, winch house,
support of our client and all of their and our shop/warehouse, refrigeration facility, and the headframe.
subcontractors working on the project, we have recorded On June 1 construction on the freeze plant building and
no MA or LTI to date. cold storage building started.
The Engineering group has been busy with the designs of With the camp being ready for occupancy and the
the shaft and liner, headframe, and the surface facilities construction office being readied, the project team will be
and infrastructure. AMC, along with TMCC, J.S. leaving the TMCC offices in late June, and moving out to
Redpath, V.B. Cook, and various other groups have been site for the duration of the project.
contributing to the project. The group will be continuing
with detailed designs through the next few months to The project team would like to thank everybody at the
carry us through our surface construction and shaft TMCC Regina office for their support and hospitality
construction phases. during our stay in Regina.
Construction at the site has been moving forward. The
client started the pilot hole for the shaft last fall, with the Project Manager
completion of the hole and a grout testing program in
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