"One of the key things is the relationship and the supporting contract structure. It is a testament to how a mine owner and a mine service provider can work in complete unison realizing a one team approach."
Can you provide an overview of Dumas Mining?
Dumas was founded in Timmins, Ontario in 1994. Leading into the 2000s, the company experienced rapid growth expanding into Québec and other parts of Canada, as well as US. After strategic investment by private equity in 2008, Dumas took on work in Mexico, Guatemala and Peru. In 2018 the majority stake in Dumas was purchased by STRACON, a surface mining and construction company based in Lima, Peru. Dumas’s core competencies are underground lateral mine development, vertical mine development using mechanized raise climbers, underground mine construction, and shaft sinking.
How has STRACON’s involvement helped to bolster Dumas’s offering?
In 2022, we have commenced an increasingly aggressive approach towards bringing the companies closer together. This means taking Dumas's North and Central American specialized underground skillsets and pairing it with STRACON's surface mine building experience across South America. We see that as being the perfect combination for synergistic and accretive growth over the next decade.
Can you highlight a case study in which Dumas has delivered a positive outcome for a client?
The Hudbay Lalor mine is a great recent example. We mobilized to site in 2011 when we were awarded the sinking of the main production shaft. We successfully executed the sinking of a 1,000 m deep, 6.7-m diameter, concrete line production shaft, which we completed in 2014. We returned to site in 2016 to assist Hudbay in mine development, mine production, and several other mine construction and infrastructure projects. One of the key things that stands out from that project, outside of all the mine physicals we achieved, is the relationship and the supporting contract structure. It is truly a testament to how a mine owner and a mine service provider can work in complete unison realizing a one team approach.
We executed upon a commercial structure that targeted less administration with respect to contract change, less confrontational or adversarial-type realizations that in some instances come with competitively bid contract arrangements for mining projects. We replaced all this with a structure that aided us in aligning our goals. This is the difference between relationship and absolute partnership.
How has Dumas contributed to Torex Gold’s ELG operation in Mexico?
Every meter of underground mine development that has been established at Torex in their ELG complex has been done by Dumas. We are currently excavating over 900 m a month of high quality mine development and we are doing so with an industry leading safety record. The crews at Torex just surpassed four and a half years with no lost time injury. The other thing to be said about the Torex project is that it is a fantastic example of how a Canadian-based mining contractor and a Canadian-based mining company can partner together to work in a remote area such as Guerrero, Mexico. We are proud to support the surrounding communities and improve the quality of life for many through community investment. Following the lead of an extremely ESG-focused team at Torex makes it easy for Dumas to follow suit.
What are the biggest challenges contractors face today in Ontario?
The skilled labor shortage that continues to affect everyone in this industry. As a contractor, we are often looked upon as a feeder of skilled workers to operating mines, and as demand for workers continues to outstrip supply, we find ourselves in an increasingly competitive environment. We are specialists in recruiting, and we have a high skillset for training. We also own a lot of mining equipment, but we do not own a mine. There is also a large cost associated with training. Training at the levels and the quantities required to feed this industry for the future is going to be a huge challenge. There are thousands of jobs that are going to be required to feed projects coming online. What is required is getting all of the stakeholders contributing to one plan on a provincial or national level that solves the issue long term and encourages sustainability in our industry.