Canadian Mining Journal

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PROJECT MANAGEMENT: Hatch’s work at Gahcho Kue earns award



MONTREAL – At an awards gala hosted by the Montreal chapter of the Project Management Institute on Nov. 8, 2016, Hatch’s submission for the Gahcho Kue project took top honours in the private industry category. The 2016 project of the year award recognized its work on the C$1-billion project at the diamond mine in the Northwest Territories. This, the world’s largest new diamond mine since 2003, moved into production earlier this year, on budget and ahead of schedule.

On behalf of mine joint venture partners De Beers Canada (51%) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49%), Hatch led the engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) team at Gahcho Kue, and was responsible for the design and implementation of the mine’s processing plant.

Hatch project manager John Bryant says it’s been an exciting year at Gahcho Kue after moving into commissioning and recovering the first diamond in June 2016, two months ahead of schedule. He comments, “Gahcho Kue’s recent successes and this recognition are largely due to intensive planning and quality execution by a collaborative project team over the past few years. They faced extreme weather and met remote site challenges on a highly complex project. It’s rewarding to see it’s all paid off.”

Allan Rodel, who headed the Gahcho Kue project for De Beers and is now the mine general manager, attended the gala and thanked the project partners for coming together as one team with one common vision.

“This project took more than 1,000 people from the NWT and across Canada representing multiple companies and communities, but what they all shared in common was the commitment to do this project the right way, starting with safety from the very first day,” said Rodel. “With everyone aligned, we were able to tackle all challenges that came our way including extreme weather and complex logistics, a firm timeline and disciplined cost control during uncertain economic times. This truly is a team award.” The project has set a new standard for De Beers in execution, teamwork, and performance.

The site’s remote, northern location meant the Gahcho Kue team faced extreme winter conditions for more than six months each year. Completion of the project largely depended on the success of several ice road campaigns, including the big push in the winter of 2015 when the majority of construction materials were received from across Canada, consolidated and shipped. That season more than 2,500 truckloads, including 24 million litres of fuel, travelled the 420 km over frozen lakes and roads to the site.

Gahcho Kue is expected to produce 4.5 million carats per annum over the life of the mine, with commercial operation to be achieved in the first quarter of 2017. The project is located about 280 km northeast of Yellowknife.

Read about Gahcho Kue and other Hatch projects at www.Hatch.com.