As a full spectrum mining services provider, DMC’s engineering expertise is well-developed and covers the full range of disciplines necessary to ensure project success. Some clients are surprised by the depth of our capabilities, since we are known more for our work in mining operations. The expertise we demonstrate in operational excellence is backed by a large and highly skilled engineering team.
Our team of engineers have been instrumental in some of our biggest successes, tackling some of the most challenging projects we’ve done. They’ve helped us set records and achieve truly novel solutions, such as the first use of the Shaft Boring Roadheader – equipment they helped develop. If a well-engineered solution is required, DMC has the internal resources to design and deliver it, from the small jobs to massive ones. A brief review of four recent projects demonstrates our versatility.
A client in Wyoming needed ventilation raises bored through dangerous and unstable ground. These challenging ground conditions meant that the usual advantage of raise bore, a stable face, was not available, and workers could not install lining from inside the raise. To solve this, DMC engineered a solution in which 40 foot steel ‘cans’ were installed from the surface to stabilize the ventilation raise. It’s a type of project with which DMC’s engineers are familiar, which meant it was completed efficiently and quickly.
One of our major mining clients in the US required DMC’s engineering services to solve a productivity crisis with a 90 year old coal mine. The tunneled approach to the orebody was lengthy, and heavy diesel trucks were used for hauling, a situation which was making their cost per ton uncompetitive. Instead of drilling deep ventilation raises, we helped the client execute a better solution.
With the goal of making their production costs effective, DMC designed an underground crusher station and conveyor system, rehabilitated the existing tunnel and portal to the surface, and designed surface conveyors, storage and discharge systems. The project began as a pure engineering project, but DMC was called on to handle the construction as well. By completion, we had demonstrated that the solution met all key indicators of efficiently producing and moving a target tonnage, significantly lowering operating costs.
A major Tier 1 client with a large-scale mine in Western Canada engaged DMC for an intensive project, which led to a number of firsts and records for DMC. The project was a co-ordinated team effort, with DMC engineering teams, DMC Operations teams and Client partnership . The biggest breakthrough on the project was the Shaft Boring Roadheader, or SBR, which DMC assisted in the design with the equipment manufacturer Herrenknecht.
As it was the first use of the SBR in real world conditions, our engineers had to design and build the shaft sinking setup which would enable it to be applied. Structural, geotechnical and mechanical engineering were crucial to creating both the SBR and the system that would allow it to operate effectively.
As with all potash mining projects in Saskatchewan, the Jansen mine would need to excavate through the Blairmore Formation, a high pressure mix of sand, shale and water. To overcome it, we needed to build the largest refrigeration plant and deepest refrigeration pipes in Western Canada to freeze the mixture so we could sink a shaft through it. As the sinking proceeded, shaft tubbing was installed to stabilize the shaft walls, which necessitated yet another layer of precision.
Our work with the development of the SBR demonstrates that we think outside of the box as well, which is why another Tier I diamond mine producer sought our expertise for a research and development project. Interested by the SBR possibilities, they reached out for assistance in costing out and investigating a potential new method of vertical excavation. While it’s a blue-sky project, and possibly not applicable, it’s a unique opportunity and an interesting challenge to create another generation of innovative equipment.
While we’re known for our excellence in the field with operations and our ‘boots on the ground’ presence on projects, there is a wealth of behind the scenes expertise which supports that work. Our engineering teams are experienced with a wide range of projects, from design-build to purely conceptual work, and their work demonstrates that no challenge is too large and no job too small.
Our goal is to offer the safest, most effective, and most timely solutions we can develop. Without the approaches enabled by thoughtful and innovative engineering, our ability to tackle challenging projects, solve problems, and create new equipment would be severely limited without the support of our capable, multidisciplinary engineering team.