This paper describes logistic sea lift arrangements and receiving marine terminal solutions for Newmont's Hope Bay Gold Mine Project in the Canadian Arctic. Presented in this case study are innovative design features and logistical sea lift strategies to overcome significant obstacles for a major Arctic development project.
Supplying a major Arctic mine start up project in Western Nunavut in 2010 with thousands of tons of supplies and construction materials is a major challenge when there is adequate time to plan the logistics and construct a proper receiving marine terminal. Compounding this major challenge is an extremely aggressive schedule and an existing marine terminal originally designed for much smaller vessels. The project sea lift strategy included both the typical West Coast supply route and, for the first time, East Coast supply routes using both the Northwest Passage and Panama Canal.
This paper provides a discussion of the advantages of staging a major sea lift using the Northwest Passage that links both west and East Coast seaports of the United States and Canada to the Arctic. Details are included about temporary and permanent structural improvements to an existing marine terminal to support the sea lift and how an innovative sheet pile dock design technology and advanced winter construction techniques can accelerate the completion of a remote Arctic marine terminal by one year.
The Newmont sea lift of 2010 executed from eastern Canada included a 3,000 nautical mile route for the first time up the icy straights of the Northwest Passage and set a record long 11,000 nautical mile tow through the Panama Canal (see Figure 1). The sea lift circumnavigated the North America Continent and accomplished a major logistical feat to kick off the Hope Bay Gold Mine project.
The Newmont sea lift of 2010 was organized, planned and executed under a very aggressive schedule, resulting in the timely arrival of over 10,000 tons of supplies and equipment and, 17 million liters of fuel. The sea lift required the support of 14 different vessels, over 350 logistics personnel and utilized nine different ports in US and Canada on both the East and West Coast. Final planning and design for the sea lift and the components that needed to be transported, did not begin in earnest until October 2009. This schedule meant only 10-months for the design, procurement and fabrication of the required project components to meet the shipping date to the Arctic. In addition to this, the existing marine facilities at the site were never designed for large capacity ocean going vessels such as the ones required for the sea lift. The time element did not allow for conventional structural upgrades and marine facilities expansion, but instead required quick turnaround band-aid type solutions that could be implemented before the sea lift arrived. Major marine structural upgrade and expansion work had to be deferred until the following year.