AN INTEGRATED approach
Under contract to the Saskatchewan Research Council, QM was selected to complete the building decommissioning, demolition and safe disposal of hazardous materials at the Gunnar Mine sites. To say this endeavor was complex would be an understatement. Under the watchful eye of various provincial and federal regulators and five partnering communities, QM put an integrated plan in place to ensure the execution was completed on time and on budget.
So remote an area, there were no direct highways to count on for easy access to the mine site. Instead, QM constructed an ice road to reach the mine site, a road that remained open for just two weeks until it was closed due to warming temperatures. The only way in or out after that was through barge or chartered plane on a runway that was maintained by QMLP. Just to prepare the site, 300 truckloads of equipment, supplies and materials to complete the work was brought in during this very narrow window.
Safety First and Foremost
Given the nature of the demolition, safety plans and procedures were paramount and established early. Old sumps were immediately filled in, overhead structures were removed, and barriers were built around open areas such as the pit itself. Dust suppression was used to keep the dust and debris at a minimum, further protecting the team and the area. During the entire project, all team members were closely monitored for radioactive doses in partnership with Health Canada. In addition to the regulatory requirements for the Health Canada dosimetry program; QMLP monitored the dose for employees, subcontractors, visitors, and client representatives in real time.
Community Engagement & Capacity Building
Working effectively with the seven communities, three First Nations and the Metis Nation of the Athabasca Basin were key to this project’s success and included local employment, subcontracting and the procurement of goods and services. The QM Team and Aboriginal Relations Manager worked closely and collaboratively with the client and communities throughout the lifecycle of the project in establishing effective communications, building teams of onsite and in-community coordinators and liaisons, and building sound and effective relationships. As part of QM’s corporate commitment to Aboriginal Inclusion and Capacity Building over 100 individuals were trained in-community; an industry transferable curriculum and a program tailored to the scope of work that prepared individuals to safely and effectively work onsite.