A Canadian intermediate gold producer, Detour Gold owns and operates the Detour Lake mine in northern Ontario. A long-life, large-scale open pit operation, Detour Lake is the second-largest gold-producing mine in Canada with the largest gold reserves.
“This is a large-scale mine with a long lifespan of 20-plus years,” Supply Chain Superintendent Stuart Gilray says. “It is the largest gold mine in Canada not controlled by a senior producer, located in a mining-friendly jurisdiction and with promising exploration opportunities.”
Thanks to a growing cash flow profile, organic growth initiatives and significant potential for further exploration discoveries, Detour Gold is well positioned to deliver superior returns. Supporting those efforts is a robust supply chain operation focused on providing excellent sourcing and logistics services in a remote location.
There are many reasons for Detour Gold to be bullish about the future. This year, Detour Lake mine will pour its one-millionth ounce of gold just two years after its first gold pour in 2013. In the near term, the company is focused on pursuing internal growth opportunities to enhance the mine’s production profile and reduce costs.
Over the long haul, Detour Gold is a looking to bring its entire Detour Lake gold mine to full production levels. Detour Gold has the largest gold reserves among producing Canadian gold mines with 15 million ounces of gold, and the possibility of exploration discoveries could provide even more growth opportunities.
When Detour Gold decided to proceed with the mine’s development, it believed that long-term success relied on local service providers and stakeholders, including First Nation populations. The company strives to be transparent about its plans while bringing in key vendors and suppliers.
All of this is critical to everything from logistics, warehousing and access to local services and supplies to entering into larger contracts with suppliers and gaining access to fuel. Detour Gold’s mine is located in a remote part of northern Ontario, so engaging the local supply and service industries was essential to success.
“Because we are so remote, we have to take close stock of the supplies that the mine can’t function without,” Gilray says. “We look at our inventory requirements and maintenance programs regularly, as our inventory stock is managed on a daily and weekly basis. We have to give ourselves a little bit of a margin for error.”
Detour Gold has moved from the construction phase to production during the last few years. In both phases, the company has looked to build ties to service providers that it could partner with over the long term.
“We have assessed the commodities we’ll consume over the life of the mine, as we are 185 kilometers from the nearest town and need to be as self-sufficient as we can,” Gilray says.
“We have two camps, which are in many ways like a giant hotel,” Gilray continues. “We need food and fuel provisions, so we have established many larger contracts that will be around for the life of mine.”
As the company has moved from construction to production, it has worked to create a world-class facility. It has also established an SAP-based ERP system, bringing data from all of the departments working at the site into the ERP so it can better analyze operations and find improvement opportunities.
“One of our goals is to always find ways to get better,” according to Gilray. “We have put a business improvement framework in place and every part of the company is involved.”
Detour Gold’s supply chain organization will continue to play a critical role in supporting the company’s growth because it is actively involved in establishing the company’s growth goals. Detour Gold will continue to look for ways to provide economic benefits for local suppliers and First Nation partners, so it maintains consistent rules and processes on procurement, looking for local suppliers whenever possible, as well as vendor capacity and competitive bids.
A challenge for Detour Gold’s supply chain will be to continuously seek ongoing improvement and leaner operations. The company is constantly looking for ways to improve freight management, and it is in the process of investing in a transportation management system that will provide better visibility. In addition, the company is looking to see how it can utilize its SAP system to improve warehouse management.
“We are working with suppliers to get a better look at data on shipments from shipping and production perspectives,” Gilray says. “Working with vendors and effectively mining data as our business progresses will help us to make the best possible decisions based against risk analysis and our remote location.”
Working with First Nation populations and hiring locally are other areas of focus for Detour Gold. The company understands the need to be a good corporate citizen and that ultimately what’s good for the community is good for business.
“We want to empower our people so they can grow and succeed here,” Gilray says. “Our mine can provide extensive economic opportunities for the community around here because of its long life, and we want our communities to be stronger and better off because of our presence.”