It's a grand opening that's been more than a year in the making and staff at Technica Mining say they still feel privileged to be in their new location, with a major project already underway.
The underground mining construction contractor held an open house and grand opening on June 16. The event was packed with staff, past and present clients, family and friends who gathered to tour parts of the facility and catch up on news and offer congratulations. It was a casual affair, with people stopping by to enjoy refreshments and walk around the property and meet and chat with key staff personnel.
The facility, according to president and CEO Mario Grossi took four years to build and opened Feb. 29, 2016. They took almost a year and a half to host a grand opening for personal reasons, he said.
“We started with designs sketched on napkins and here we are,” he said in an interview. “It's a homegrown company, I was born and raised here, we have a long history with this area.”
It had started with just six employees in 1999. Since then they have grown to include about 350 employees. Moving was inevitable as they grew, he said.
Their new location is perfect in almost every way, said human resources manager Cora DeMarco.
“We are literally in the middle of the nickel capital of Canada, we are very proud to be here,” she said. “If this (location) doesn't make you mine conscious, I don't know what will.”
The location has proven to be more than just practical, she said, there are many personal and aesthetic perks.
“We often go for walks down to Walden park, it's just down the hill,” she said. “The hills, Kelly Lake, the panoramic views. It's perfect.”
The service and supply bays were open for people to get a visual idea of the equipment and services it provides, including a few vehicles, such as jumbos and front-end loaders. Grossi explained most of their construction vehicles are on sites right now, the ones available are surplus they keep at the office.
The contractor's reputation for quality work runs between competing mining corporations. Frank Demers, general manager of operations at KGHM Polska Miedz, which he said is the third largest mining corporation in the Sudbury basin, said while he worked with them at Vale it was always a pleasure to work with them.
“I've known Mario pretty much since he's started his company and when I was with Vale at South Mine he did a lot of good work for me and we developed a good relationship there,” he said. “I know them for their good work and being good people.”
The grand opening comes on the heels of a recent announcement Technica Mining will build the workings of the Sugar zone deposit near White River for Harte Gold Corp. Earlier this year the contractor signed a second contract with the Toronto junior miner to extend an underground ramp and start development of stopes and vent raises in preparation for full commercial production in the second quarter of 2018. Technica Mining had worked previously with Harte to mine the zone's bulk sample in 2015.
The company website boasts a long list of services they offer, from de-watering systems to car dump stations, air and water lines, ventilation to borehole casting.
“We can do everything except sink the shafts,” he said. “We provide equipment, logistics, repairs and manpower. There really isn't any mining company we haven't worked with.”
According to its website the company is a division of Technica Group Inc., specializing in construction of underground mining facilities. They formed in 1999 and grew their portfolio of services from underground construction, to lateral, ramp and raise development, production mining and mine finance.
“When we are on site we do everything from construction to closure,” Grossi said. “We service the market area of Canada. Vale and Glencore are our primary customers, as well as Goldcorp in Timmins, Barrick with (their) Hemlo project. We are expanding into the junior mining company markets as well.”