Project Description

BAFFINLAND IRON MINES TRUCK SHOP

Baffinland Iron Mine is located on Baffin Island in Nunavut, it is the sixth most northern mine in the world. Nahanni Nunavut Construction Limited (NNCL) was hired to design and build an 850M2 custom Maintenance Truck Shop to house some of the largest equipment on the mine site, 793 Haul Trucks and a 994 Cat Loader. This was the first Design-Build (DB) on the Baffinland site and NNCL brought considerable northern experience to the DB process when determining materials, logistics and overall project execution.

This building was an essential piece of mine-site infrastructure required to maintain critical equipment that would not fit in any of the standard maintenance shops currently on-site. The build included a 60-tonne overhead crane, a wash bay with a water recycle system, and a lube storage and dispensing system. 

With design and procurement undertaken in March 2018, construction started in August of 2018. Logistical considerations were a critical requirement to ensure project success. With the mine site located in the remote northern reaches of Baffin Island all freight was staged by NNCL at the Port of Valleyfield in Montreal and then loaded and shipped to the Milne Port on the North End of Baffin Island. NNCL then transported the materials 100KM overland to the Mary River Mine Site.

Throughout the construction period on-site NNCL crews experienced an unseasonably wet summer period and winter construction conditions that had crews erecting the building envelop in temperatures in excess of -40 Celsius, with windchills in the -60 Celsius range. 

Overall, the Client was very pleased with the dedication and quality of work completed by NNCL crews.

CHALLENGES

  • The Mary River Mine, operated by Baffinland Iron Mines, is located 100KM inland from the northern tip of Baffin Island. This meant NNCL was required to find unique logistical solutions to ensure all material was transported to the build site in one short northern summer shipping season, all equipment and material was shipped and then moved overland to the build site. 
  • The site presented geographic challenges which required unique design solutions. Significant permafrost prevented a pinned-to-bedrock foundation solution, and the size of the building presented considerable wind loading. This led to a unique thickened slab foundation.
  • Crews faced significant challenges with weather conditions. The build period was unseasonably wet which presented challenges with equipment and material mobilization. During the build period crews faced temperatures in excess of -40 Celsius. 

Over the course of the project NNCL averaged 21 employees on site with a peak workforce of 40 individuals. Over 86,000-man hours were put into the project.