Williams Lake Tribune: Taseko Gibraltar - Searching for Operating ExcellenceMay 04, 2016
As we celebrate mining week (May 9 – 13) this year, I thought it would be good to highlight the Gibraltar Mine accomplishments and contribution to our communities and region.
The first item I would like to mention is our continued excellent safety performance.Earlier this year, Gibraltar was awarded the John Ash award by the BC Ministry of Energy and Mines for the second consecutive year in a row. This award is presented to the open pit mine in the province working over 1 million hours annually with the lowest lost time incident frequency. This level of performance is achieved and owned by all the employees at Gibraltar. As a site, we have now worked over 3.5 million hours without a loss time incident and speaks to our continued focus and commitment.But we’re not resting on our laurels and we know past performance doesn’t dictate future performance. We regularly remind ourselves not to become complacent or let our standards slip. We also as a site continue to work together to eliminate high potential incidents and near misses.
The second item I would like to highlight is our focus on improving our productivity and efficiencies. Given the current prolonged downturn in the commodities market Gibraltar back in January 2015 undertook a process that challenged ourselves to perform better. Identifying the bottlenecks and bench marking our performance against our peers were the two key things we did to help identify the key focus areas. From there we engaged all employees in the development of the action plans to improve performance.Then most important of all we put those plans in place and executed them. Everyone involved was very committed to the execution and believed in the plan. This collaborative approach resulted in us being able to improve our performance in a number of areas. Recently in April of this year these efforts culminated in us achieving new production records for the mine and more specifically our shovels, drills and trucks. This step change in performance speaks again to the quality of employees we have at Gibraltar and how engaged everyone is making Gibraltar succeed and survive through this commodity downturn.
The final item I would like to highlight is the economic contributions Gibraltar provides to the local communities and region. At Gibraltar we have 625 employees who live predominantly in Williams Lake, Quesnel, and the surrounding areas. Gibraltar pays roughly $70 million dollars annually in salaries, wages and benefits to our employees. These employees in turn pay municipal, provincial and federal taxes in addition to purchasing goods and services from local businesses and contractors. Gibraltar also pays taxes and sources many goods and services locally. In 2015 Gibraltar paid $1.3 million in property taxes, and spent $39.4 million in the Cariboo region and $199 million provincially. When you consider Gibraltar has a long range plan that spans the next 24 years to 2039, that amounts to a significant economic engine and contributor to the Cariboo region that will benefit employees and their families for generations to come.
Written by Richard Tremblay, General Manager at Gibraltar Mines