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Global expertise cornerstone of success (3/02)

Providing quality, innovative and comprehensive solutions to its clients for over 40 years, Golder Associates Ltd. (Golder) and its subsidiaries, with 80 offices worldwide, remain an industry leader.
Providing quality, innovative and comprehensive solutions to its clients for over 40 years, Golder Associates Ltd. (Golder) and its subsidiaries, with 80 offices worldwide, remain an industry leader.

Specializing in providing geotechnical and mining engineering, environmental and earth science services for regional natural resource and civil engineering projects, Golder employs more than 2,400 people around the world, including more than 40 in Sudbury. Recently voted as one of the top 50 Canadian firms to work for (20th overall), as well as being identified as one of the 50 Best Managed Private Companies in Canada for the past two years, they are obviously doing something right internally as well.

The Sudbury office, located at 662 Falconbridge Rd., was established nine years ago and has grown steadily over that time from its original employee base of two. Golder's Sudbury operation, comprised of three distinct companies operating under the Golder brand, has a reputation as a centre for mining, environmental, earth science and site remediation expertise. The company offers its clients a team of specialized personnel providing consulting and engineering, procurement, construction and management (EPCM) service in a number of key areas including: water supply evaluations, wellhead protection studies, water-quality assessments, groundwater contamination investigations, mine dewatering studies, environmental effects monitoring, environmental risk analysis, mine design, rock mechanics, site decommissioning, rehabilitation services for mines and processing plants, closure plans and short- and long-term property management in the mining, forest, waste management and construction fields.

Alan Cameron, Principal-Office Manager of Golder's Sudbury location, says his company's local and international success is due in large part to the wealth of expertise the various offices can call upon. Employee owned and managed, Golder's collection of offices worldwide often access each other's expertise in providing clients with the best service possible.

Cameron is proud of this internal system of networking and says Golder will continue to use all of its internal resources in providing for its clientele. It is not uncommon for Golder employees to find themselves sitting on a plane heading towards a distant country in support of one of their foreign offices, or having specialists from other offices here in Sudbury to assist on projects. While they are proud of their international success, Golder remains committed to providing clients in Northern Ontario with quality service.

Golder is aware of the role water resources play in human and economic development. As such, the company's services focus on the total issue of water-resource management, including water planning, resource potential, environmental protection, surface and groundwater development and constructive support. These services have been applied in the development of municipal water supply, natural resource development, recreational facilities, residential communities and conservation areas. They offer comprehensive services for evaluating water quality and designing environmental protection measures for water resources.

Golder has undertaken numerous hydrogeological assessments of municipal and industrial groundwater supplies for the First Engineer's Reports required under the Ministry of the Environment's O. Reg. 459/00. These have included delineation of wellhead protection areas for municipal groundwater supply wells, and the evaluation of groundwater resources potentially under the direct influence of surface water.

Golder also provides a full range of environmental services which permits them to work with clients from early stages of new project development, through operations and decommissioning. The principal environmental services offered by the company include: environmental site assessments and remediation, risk assessment, waste management, biological services, water resource management, water quality assessment, air quality assessment and strategic environmental management.

Golder Associates Innovative Applications (GAIA) Inc., a division of Golder Associates Ltd., maintains its headquarters at the Sudbury office on Falconbridge Road. This Golder subsidiary was established as a mining contracting company specializing in mine reclamation and decommissioning strategies and applications on a turnkey basis, or as part of a complete rehabilitation program, including long-term property management. Clients include such companies as Lac Properties, Inmet Mining Corp., Inco Ltd., Barrick Gold, Agnico-Eagle, Domtar, CGC, Falconbridge Ltd. and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

Bruce Fox, project manager for GAIA in Sudbury, believes the company has found its niche in dealing with the environmental concerns of its clients.

"GAIA applies their expertise towards reducing hazards at mine sites and rehabilitating mines," Fox says. "We take care of potential environmental and physical hazards for our clients." GAIA can solve potential problems clients have and make them environmentally sound. Typical projects will include design/build solutions for dams, tailings basin, waste piles, open pits, demolition, revegetation and other mining related infrastructures.

Disposing of mine tailings and various waste materials has traditionally consituted a large percentage of the operating costs of mining and processing facilities. Environmental regulations in many countries have become more stringent in the last decade. Subsequently, high costs and difficulties obtaining operating permits have forced many companies to look to outside services for help with mine waste-disposal problems.

David Landriault, president of Golder Paste Technology Ltd. (PasteTec), realized this and came up with a solution. Wholly owned by Golder Associates Ltd., PasteTec offers consulting and EPCM services in the area of tailings management, backfill production and placement and the handling and disposal of other waste materials.

Plans for the disposal of tailings in paste form are site specific and are developed to ensure the facility's environmental performance meets or exceeds all federal and provincial regulatory requirements.

Advantages of surface paste deposition include: smaller footprint for tailings or waste impoundment, lower environmental impact, less clean-up and improved water management.

PasteTec's consulting and EPCM services are in use worldwide. After the recent successful commissioning of their latest paste systems in Tanzania and Sweden, the company is presently designing tailings paste production plants for operations in Alaska, New Caledonia, Montana and Canada. Paste studies are also underway for mines in Peru, Brazil and Chile.

Golder and its subsidiaries, including GAIA and PasteTec, remain committed to bringing quality mining and geotechnical engineering, environmental and earth science services to Northern Ontario and around the world.

Over the past four decades, Golder and its various divisions have gained extensive experience and expertise through the successful completion of thousands of work projects. Through a close working relationship with its clientele, Golder has gained the experience and expertise needed to find the right solutions amidst the often complex environments in which industry operates.