When the Major Drilling Winnipeg Branch moved to its new 29,000-square-foot operations head office, new doors opened not only to the building, but also to expanded services and streamlined operations supporting both staff and clients. After 40 years of drilling contract services spearheaded at the former location in Winnipeg, the new facility, completed at the end of 2020, houses an enlarged maintenance shop, parts warehouse, and administrative offices. It also includes an eight-acre storage yard.
Photo courtesy CentrePort Canada
“We are proud of our long history in Manitoba,” Barry Zerbin, General Manager of Canadian Operations, said. “With our expanded space in Winnipeg, we can better serve our clients throughout the country and continue the specialized drilling results we are known to deliver.”
The new building stands over 8.5 meters (28 feet) tall among developments inside the “CentrePort” 20,000-acre inland port and foreign trade zone. The zone is home to North America’s largest tri-modal World Trade Center located in Rosser, part of the Winnipeg metro area.
From left to right, the new Winnipeg Branch location includes an 8,000-square-foot shop containing four full-sized bays with high ceiling clearance to service all rig types in the Major Drilling fleet; 24 offices for administration office staff; and a 7,000-square-foot facility containing inventory and spare parts.
The CentrePort campus positions Major Drilling well logistically. The geographic center of Canada is mere kilometers from the new building where the shop, maintenance, and support staff supply crews, drills, and parts across the country. The new building adds to the already strong and established framework of Major Drilling branches and shops throughout Canada including locations in Flin Flon, Sudbury, Rouyn, Timmins and Yellowknife.
Logistics are more seamless than ever as the new office, warehouse and maintenance facility helps Major Drilling easily maintain and move drills across Canada for its clients. Photo courtesy Prairie Earthworks Ltd.
The new Winnipeg location services Major Drilling’s Canadian operations with 24 offices for administration office staff, the Human Resources, Safety and Operations departments, and country managers. The maintenance team, with over a dozen employees, is housed in an 8,000-square foot shop containing four full-sized bays with over 7.5 meters (25 feet) in ceiling clearance to service all rig types in the Major Drilling fleet. The warehouse team works in a 7,000-square foot facility containing inventory and spare parts. The building can also accommodate in-house training schools for additional crews coming aboard to meet client needs.
Zerbin says the expanded space allows the Winnipeg Branch to service Major Drilling’s clients in the province which include HudBay Minerals Inc. in Flin Flon/Snow Lake; Vale in Thompson; 1911 Gold in Bissett; and Yamana Gold Inc. in Monument Bay. It also increases capacity for clients across Canada such as Foran Mining, Nighthawk Gold Corp., and Sabina Gold & Silver Corp.
Additional features in the construct include electric car charging stations and energy efficient designs. In trending with the mining industry’s focus on the environment and sustainability, Major Drilling installed car charging stations that will be utilized by visitors, suppliers and employees. The new building qualified for Energy Efficiency Certification Projects that are designed to be at least 10% better than the Manitoba Energy Code for Buildings (MECB) and will be Certified Energy Efficient by Efficiency Manitoba (formerly Manitoba Hydro’s Power Smart Program).
Manitoba is a long-established operations area for Major Drilling. In 1998, the company completed the acquisition of the Midwest group of companies in Canada, which operated more than 70 years of in central Canada and the Arctic. Midwest was one of the largest drilling companies in Canada with over 115 drills (80 surface, 35 underground).
The new Major Drilling Winnipeg office door features a symbolic yellow canopy shaped like a mine entrance or shaft. As staff come and go, the doorway is a reminder of how the team strives to begin and end every commitment with accountability in mind. An electric vehicle charging station is seen on the right side of the photo.
The new Winnipeg office is opening just as the mining industry enters a projected upcycle in activity.
In 2021, Major Drilling continues its strategy of dominating specialized drilling across the globe. The company is a proud part of the Winnipeg business community and regularly participates in social responsibility activities that build relationships and help important causes. One such cause in support of environmental, social and governance issues provided toys for patients at the local children’s hospital and other donations to feed local families and support the homeless population.
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Members of the Major Drilling Winnipeg Branch celebrate Canada Day in 2019.