It’s a simple question, and yet ultimately complicated. Like any other industry, there is an eventual need for evolution – however, as mining is so specialized, have the forces of change which have disrupted so many other industries, touched our own? Mining is certainly evolving. Innovation, improvement and shifting expectations are driving the evolution. And while DMC’s core focus is on excellence in operations and safety, we are working to be part of this change.
In the resource sector generally, and mining specifically, a great deal of emphasis is put on getting a project started on the right foot. Preparatory work for greenfield mine development can take a full decade, as a project moves from scoping studies, into pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, through engineering, and finally into execution. As the business of mining is fraught with many economic and technical risks, taking a careful and thoughtful approach is necessary.
Method counts for a lot in the world of mining; choosing the right approach from the start of a project can make a huge difference down the line. Careful and insightful engineering is how the complex issues of underground construction are solved. Capable operations are how the solutions are delivered. When DMC is contracted for underground construction, we usually follow the design-build methodology, which ensures we tackle the project effectively from end to end.
The 4th International Conference of Shaft Design and Construction (or SDC 2019) was held in Toronto this past November. We took it as an auspicious sign that the conference, first held in 1959, was the first time taking place outside of the United Kingdom, and essentially in our backyard. As the world’s only conference specialized in shaft sinking, design, and construction, making a good showing was a priority.
By integrating 3D modeling into the engineering process, our teams gain deeper capabilities and insights into the projects we tackle. Beyond helping us better plan and design projects, these models also allow us to communicate better between different teams, as well as with clients. It’s no overstatement to say that the process adds an extra dimension to the engineering role at DMC.