JV Article: PCL Construction – Never too big to call

As one of the largest independent general contracting construction companies in Canada, PCL’s name may be familiar across the country, as well […]
PCL mining project in northern Ontario. Credit: PCL

As one of the largest independent general contracting construction companies in Canada, PCL’s name may be familiar across the country, as well as in the United States, the Caribbean and Australia.

For more than a century, based out of Edmonton and with offices in 28 locations across North America and Australia, PCL has spearheaded a diverse roster of operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial and building markets. With annual construction volume of $9 billion, the PCL logo is a common sight on projects across the country, but many in the mining industry may not realize the company is also prepared to bring its extensive skillset to the sector.

While PCL has been involved in a variety of mining-related projects over the years, working with the likes of Rio Tinto (NYSE: RIO; LSE: RIO; ASX: RIO), K+S Potash Canada and Mosaic Canada, the company had stepped back from the sector for a short period while concentrating on commercial work. However, it is now once again providing turnkey solutions for mining projects, with one part of PCL’s current focus being projects located in northern Ontario.

Two years ago, PCL opened a bricks-and-mortar office in Sudbury. As the mining sector in northern Ontario not only weathered the Covid pandemic but also found itself in the midst of an exploration, development and production boom, PCL found itself poised to be a service provider in the region.

According to Robert Black, the company’s director of business development, this has led PCL to get the word out that it is ready to assist with companies in the mining community, no matter the size of the project.

“We’ve been focusing on trying to reach out to those working in the region of northern Ontario, essentially from Kenora all the way to the North Bay area,” says Black. “Our goal has been to tell people that we’re active in the region and open for business. And at this point we want to focus on juniors and developers, to get them a degree of awareness that we provide a one-stop shop for their construction services, anywhere in the region. With our network of sub-trades, we can partner and tackle challenging projects reliably.”

As it continues to work with the mining community in northern Ontario, management understands that there are a few perceptions about the company it wants to address.

“One challenge has been, ‘Oh, we didn’t know you did mine projects,’” says Black. “Our mining and industrial side is often overlooked. Also, the concern is we’re too big.”

He points out that while PCL certainly has expertise on big budget projects, such as mine development and expansion, it has successfully delivered smaller scale projects, such as $20,000 energy-saving exterior retrofit or small, interior office renovations or concrete work.

“We cover every size of project because we can, essentially, do anything, anywhere,” Black says. “And to be honest, it’s easier working with us, because you have consistent point of contact – PCL – who can shoulder responsibility and keep our clients aware of changing project info.”

According to Black, one of the advantages of working with PCL is the way the company is organized to address the needs of clients and provide a cost structure that optimizes return, whether the project is an office renovation, a mining camp or a tailings management facility. Depending on the project scale and deliverables, the company has civil, buildings and special projects departments structured to meet these needs.

“We can provide the solutions that clients are looking for,” emphasizes Black. “And, more importantly, we can scale up to match your needs. If you’re looking for a $100,000 concrete foundation job. No problem. If you’re looking for us to commit to five years and $500 million to build out an entire mine site? We can do that too. We have the experience and the company structure to work across a range of budgets, projects and locations.”

The preceding Joint Venture article is PROMOTED CONTENT sponsored by PCL Construction and produced in co-operation with Canadian Mining Journal. Visit pcl.com for more information.

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