Exemplary Results in Mine Building with an Eye to the Future
Mining is constantly evolving. As the industry changes, owners and operators are challenged to improve the bottom line while staying alert to inherent safety challenges. Procon Mining and Tunneling Ltd. is the ideal partner with experience in building mines, being innovative and achieving one of the best safety records in the business.
Procon co-founders Ed Yurkowski and Jim Dales are transitioning from running the company to serving as directors; while new CEO John McVey is looking to build upon the established reputation and solid track record as Procon prepares to celebrate its silver anniversary in 2017.
In 2012, Jim and Ed sold 60 per cent of the company’s shares to China CAMCE Engineering Co. Ltd. (CAMCE) knowing CAMCE has the experience and global reach to support the continued development and diversification of Procon’s mining contracting business. Procon will continue to service an established Canadian client base while also looking to expand into other regions as the global mining sector gains strength.
“A lot of our business is based on relationships and trust,” John says. “We have built a strong record of safety excellence and top-tier performance in building mines for our customers that are delivered on time and on budget.”
“We have built a strong record of safety excellence and top-tier performance in building mines for our customers that are delivered on time and on budget.” John McVey
Procon has wide-ranging expertise in developing new mines as well as expanding existing mines; many of which are in very remote and challenging locations. The company serves many sectors of the industry from precious metals to base metals, hard rock to soft rock. Procon achieves impressive results with the more than 600 employees, 95 per cent of whom work underground.
“The core of our business is the mine development work that our people and equipment do underground,” John notes. “The on-site management is expertly led by a small group of long-serving superintendents who take care of the day-to-day operations and ensure that our crews work safely and productively.”
Procon’s rigorous safety programs and exemplary record have allowed the company to expand the business into providing third-party safety management, mine rescue and other training to companies and contractors.
“It proves that our people and procedures are leading the way in mining safety,” says John. “I credit our founders for establishing this culture of safety. Our customers demand it and we deliver it because we value our employees and have established very high standards for our performance.”
The company is also looking to become even more proactive with safety performance by reporting and rigorously analyzing ‘near-misses’ to identify opportunities for improvement and further insulate employees from incidents.
This focus on safety is especially important because of the remote nature of Procon’s work. Many of the mine locations are in northern First Nations territories which has allowed Procon to develop aboriginal partnerships with resultant employment and training opportunities.
“You leave a legacy this way,” John says of working with local employees and communities at particular mine site locations. “You help develop some new skills in the region, impart safety training and maintain close ties to ensure future projects and mine developments are viable and beneficial to everyone.”
Those outside the industry may think of mining as slow-evolving but John notes nothing is further from the truth at Procon. The Saskatchewan-based Industrial division completes construction projects for the mining and civil industries while the Equipment division in Alberta maintains Procon’s large fleet and offers mining equipment for rent or lease. Even more diversification comes from the company’s recent push into clean and renewable energy to further complement an established reputation in hydro power tunneling and underground excavation work.
Certainly, Procon has an outstanding record of past successes with its customers, but the company is definitely focused on supporting the mining industry of the future as it evolves and grows.