Supply Chain & Downstream Markets

Opportunities for Regional Businesses

Procurement of Products & Services From Northwest BC in 2019 (Millions)
Total: $333.5

Northwest BC has a long history of mining and other resource industries, and Pretivm has always been committed to supporting the regional economy by using local businesses for supplies and services. In 2019, we spent $333.5 million on procurement of products and services, of which $39.7 million went to businesses based in Northwest BC, including those located in Smithers, Terrace, Stewart, the Hazeltons, and including Indigenous-owned businesses. We look to local suppliers when sourcing food, fuel, waste services, office supplies, vehicles and equipment, trades, and specialized environmental services.  

As the Brucejack Mine transitioned to full mine production in 2018, Pretivm’s reliance on on-site contractors decreased as we built our in-house capacity to support the mine operations. However, we still have a number of contractors providing specialized services, most notably for underground mining, healthcare, and site security. These contractors are all based in BC, and Pretivm works with each company to support local hiring through these contracts, and requires monthly reports on the number of Indigenous workers and workers from Northwest BC. Pretivm reviews these reports and, when necessary, will engage with our contractors to identify measures to better support local and Indigenous hiring.

Some of the key contractors that we work with at the Brucejack Mine are:

We also work with a number of other suppliers and service providers from Northwest BC and elsewhere in BC, that provide off-site services including telecommunications, travel, utilities, construction, and environmental and engineering services. In 2019, Pretivm held vendor contracts with businesses in communities including Smithers, Terrace, Stewart, Kitimat, Hazelton, Telkwa, Kitwanga, Dease Lake, Laxgalts'ap, Gitlaxt’aamiks, and Prince Rupert. These contracts generate indirect employment and revenue for local businesses. More information about local procurement highlights and employment through contractors is provided in Our Workforce and Contractors. 

Setting a High Standard in Our Supply Chain

We understand the value that local supply and service contracts can bring to local businesses and communities, and actively work with local and Indigenous suppliers to identify opportunities and clarify requirements. Pretivm has strong requirements for health and safety and environmental performance, and these requirements protect our workers, contractors, communities, and surrounding environment. We evaluate new and existing suppliers in terms of their environmental and safety performance so that we are confident that they will work to Pretivm’s high standards. When considering new suppliers, we also look for the involvement of local and Indigenous businesses, and this is a key factor we consider when awarding major contracts.

As part of our commitment to high environmental, safety, and social standards, Pretivm works with contractors to improve performance when we identify deficiencies. In 2019, this included working with contractors to improve occurence of spills and spill response specific to contractor vehicles at the site and along our access road, and requiring monthly reports on local and Indigenous hiring.

Downstream Markets

The Brucejack Mine produces both doré and flotation concentrate, which contain gold and silver. We ship the doré bars to precious metal refineries worldwide, where they are processed into refined gold and silver for sale, and we sell the concentrate to international smelters or traders. We use 23-tonne bulk containers to transport the concentrate from the Brucejack Mine to the Port of Stewart, located in Stewart, BC. From the port, the concentrate is loaded onto bulk carrier vessels. These ships travel 130 kilometres along the Portland Canal to the Pacific Ocean, transporting the concentrate to smelters in Asia and Europe.

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Highlight Story

All Nations Driving Academy

Through our engagement with regional First Nations, we understand that the lack of a driver’s licence is one of the primary barriers to employment for many Indigenous workers. To address this issue, Pretivm—in collaboration with the Tahltan, Gitxsan, and Nisga’a nations—supported a driver training program through the All Nations Driving Academy in 2019. The goal of the program was to help secondary students in Terrace obtain learner’s permits and advance their future employment opportunities. Additionally, driver training was offered to the students’ family members, if desired.

An unexpected discovery during the driver training highlighted another challenge faced by many in the community: while acquiring their learner’s permits, students received their first eye exam revealing that many had poor eyesight, previously undiagnosed. This information has helped the communities understand vision challenges and led to improved conversations with the optometry industry, changes to eye exams, and distribution of appropriate prescriptions. 

Having a driver’s licence means more than the ability to drive. In addition to being a pre-requisite for many jobs, it represents safety, the ability to participate in community and culture, and independence.

“In terms of social license and relationship, it demonstrates that Pretivm is listening.” Lucy Sager, Principal and CEO of the All Nations Driving Academy