Moose Mountain Technical Services: Consultants to mining and exploration clients
Moose Mountain Technical Services helped open the Moose River Consolidated Gold Mine in Nova Scotia
When mining companies need to outsource projects to experienced specialists, they contact Moose Mountain Technical Services (MMTS). The country-wide operation of consultants includes geologists, engineers and technicians. Consultants bring their own expertise to each assigned project.
For example, Marc Schulte, associate mine engineer at MMTS, handles mine design as well as project and production scheduling. Tracey Meintjes covers strategic planning, project management and processing, but also holds a director role at MMTS. While both are on the engineering side of the company, MMTS also offers consulting in permitting, resource development and resource modelling. “We run the whole gamut for mining customers,” Schulte said. MMTS is a one-stop shop for mining companies on the market for experts.
The two core offices are based in Cranbrook, British Columbia, and Calgary, Alberta, but MMTS can help clients in every corner of Canada, as well as around the globe. Many MMTS consultants work from home offices, eliminating commutes and maximizing time spent with family—a factor that benefits the company and their clients. “If they work out of home remotely, they spend more time with their families and less time commuting,” Meintjes said. “We find this extremely beneficial.”
The process of working with the MMTS consulting team
When MMTS acquires a project, they search within their ranks for the perfect team. “We match the strengths to the problem,” said Meintjes. “Often, we find that the project manager has a good relationship with certain engineers and geologists, so they will turn to them first, but we have a pool. We have good chemistry in our teams.” Each project presents a different set of requirements.
After assembling their team, the associates “stomp on the ground as soon as possible to get orientated,” Meintjes said. They prefer to fully understand the project before diving in versus working from paper. Afterwards, how associates divide their time depends on the type of project. Operations support requires more on-site work; strategic planning can be done from their office.
Building a performance-based reputation
Moose Mountain Technical aims to work with companies whose values align with its own. Often clients reach out to MMTS because of its reputation. “Most of our projects come through relationships,” said Meintjes. “People get to know us because of our performance. They know how we work. If a company engages us, it’s because they know that we are a match for them.” The size and flexibility of MMTS allow the teams to make quick decisions for their clients. “Our strength lies in the fact that we can be fast and effective with our clients,” Schulte said.
They draw from past experiences to produce cost-effective and efficient solutions to each problem presented. “We rely heavily on our experience,” Meintjes said. “We look back at projects we found success with, and we use those successes to help advance projects quickly.”
MMTS at Moose River Consolidated
These work ethics are where the relationship between Atlantic Gold Corporation and MMTS originated. The relationship began in 2006 when Atlantic Gold was known as Spur Ventures. The Spur Ventures team was evaluating whether to purchase its deposits as Atlantic Gold at what is now the Moose River Consolidated Gold Mine. MMTS helped with deposit planning, determining if the project was viable and creating an image of the project.
“(Next) we helped them get compliant with NI 43-101 on those deposits, made sure their resources were up to date and took them into a preliminary economic assessment,” Schulte said. After completing the feasibility study in 2014, MMTS’s role was primarily mining engineering. “Even today, going into production, we still help with mining engineering,” said Schulte. Atlantic Gold hired its own team, but MMTS offers support where necessary.
Moose River Consolidated reaches production in record time
Most gold projects take 10 years or longer from discovery to production. “They made it clear that they wanted to build the project early, so we had to plan out a project that allowed them to do that,” Meintjes said. MMTS was impressed by the speed in which Atlantic Gold brought its Moose River Consolidated (MRC) Gold Mine to commissioning and, soon thereafter, production. “I think it’s an example for the industry of how you can get things done quickly,” he said.
Partly to thank is the community around the mine. “Everybody seems enthusiastic to see this project through,” said Meintjes. “Having that support for the project made it a lot simpler for us to make something that was good for everybody.” Between the shareholders, the local community and the minimal environmental impact, morale and enthusiasm are high in Nova Scotia as MRC nears full production.
The MRC Gold Mine positively impacts Nova Scotia. “People are enthusiastic about the economic buoyancy that has come about in the area because of the project,” Meintjes said. “When you have a community that is willing to work with a mining company, it can create value. It helps the community.”
“Our relationship with Atlantic and our ability to help are something to be proud of,” Schulte said. The MMTS team that worked with Atlantic Gold throughout the lifespan of MRC is proud to see its hard work succeed. “I think of my projects like sculptures,” said Meintjes. “You start with nothing but you chip away at it and eventually you have a product.” They are proud of a completed product like Atlantic Gold’s Moose River Consolidated Gold Mine.