Executive's Message

Jamie Gleason
Managing Director

2021

2
Nov

Managing Director's Message - November 2021

We are closing out one of the busiest work seasons in TNDC’s history, fuelled by expanded operations, and anticipate it will be another positive year. While transition to the fall/winter season traditionally leads to a slowdown in TNDC’s business, year-round work at Red Chris, Eskay, KSM and our expanded airport operations will keep our team busy.

Fostering a safe and healthy workplace

Efforts to improve our safety performance, reduce incidents, and supporting employees remains a high priority to ensure everyone goes home safe and healthy, physically and emotionally. Our HSE team is continuing efforts to improve our safety performance, developing safety training and courses, increasing awareness on mental health, and incorporating Tahltan language into safety communications.

Growing our team

The volume of work, coupled with TNDC’s growth, has demanded an epic number of new hires. Since January, TNDC hired 160 new employees in our Camp Services and Construction divisions. We have introduced positions across business areas (Safety, HR, Finance/Administration) at the corporate level and on project sites. Notably, two divisions have seen significant growth, providing new opportunities in the territory. Airport Services has added several positions and numerous new mechanics have been added at project sites and our Dease Lake shop, with a mechanical engineer to oversee our equipment maintenance program.

Being an employer of choice

The mining and construction industry are at historically busy peaks, which has made recruitment challenging and retention vital. In response, wage reviews and increases to Construction were extended to Camp Services, with Finance/Administration, Warehouse, and salaried positions in the works. We are also finalizing a review of Group Benefits, to enhance the package we offer to our employees. Updates to TNDC’s Personnel Manual and policies to support a respectful, inclusive workplace are being rolled out in January 2022. Providing mentorship and training are important practices to support growth, foster opportunities and build Tahltan capacity.

Serving Red Chris

With increased scope of services, Red Chris remains TNDC’s largest client. Our camp services team (with partner Sodexo) served a record 700 Red Chris personnel while our construction crews carried out road maintenance, TIA construction (with partner Pelly Construction) and the box cut for the underground portal/decline project (with partner Barminco). We were honoured to join Newcrest and Barminco at the Red Chris Underground Project opening ceremony on October 1. We look forward to delivering on this important project for the future of the Newcrest Red Chris Mine and supporting its operations over the winter season.


Barminco, Newcrest & TNDC at the underground portal opening,

Serving the resource sector

Our camp services and construction crews were deployed throughout the season on several exploration projects. At KSM, TNDC supported construction of camps, data collection and Coulter Creek Access Road construction (with partner Pelly). We will continue providing camp services (with partner Summit Camps) at the Hodder Creek camp over the winter. At SnipGold-Johnny Mountain, TNDC provided reclamation and access road repair support. At Eskay Creek, TNDC continues to provide camp services (with partner Sodexo), access road improvements, and will have a road maintenance crew there over the winter. Two operators will provide Coast Mountain Hydro’s Forest Kerr snow removal services for the winter season.

Supporting regional projects

We were pleased to contribute to local projects. On the Telegraph Road wash out repairs, our work included rebuilding the 1 km access road to downtown. On the Dease Lake Airport Improvement Project – the most extensive upgrades in its history – TNDC carried out earthworks and provided general contractor services (with partner Cobalt Construction). The $9 million dollar project has delivered a much safer, enhanced airport facility with year-round, 24/7 operational capabilities for this vital community infrastructure to better serve health, emergency responders, industry and in future, residents.

Diversifying our business

TNDC Airport Services is an increasingly important area of business. In addition to the services we provide as the Contract Airport Operator for the Dease Lake Airport, we added air freight bulk diesel sales for exploration companies and a heli-base to support helicopter operators needing logistical help when operating from Dease Lake. We will be doing winter maintenance on the runway and taxiways and have acquired several new pieces of equipment for this added scope. Additional plans are in the works for 2022 to continue moving this strategic airport to a new level of safety and service. We are tremendously grateful for the support from Newcrest, industry, TCG, Iskut and Tahltan Bands, all levels of government, and the Stikine Airport Society over the past two years.

Being a competitive, reliable service provider

Our equipment fleet is one of our greatest assets. Its reliability is intertwined with our ability to bid and deliver on service contacts. We are implementing an Equipment Management Program, which coupled with an expanded mechanical team, will help us be more competitive, better manage our fleet costs, and conduct and track improved maintenance procedures. We also acquired many new pieces of equipment to deliver on client commitments.

Serving our clients and growing our business

While this level of growth is positive for TNDC’s bottom line, meeting the increased demands to be a trusted partner that delivers on client commitments requires the efforts of our employees and contributions of our partners, suppliers and Tahltan Leadership. I extend my appreciation to all for their support. Over the winter, we will be preparing for the 2022 work season and advancing new business ventures. We are creating exciting opportunities for the Tahltan Nation and continue to be a leading indigenous business in the region.

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