The Athabasca Basin—one of Canada’s richest mineral deposits—is best known as the world’s leading source of high-grade uranium, currently suppling about 20 per cent of the world’s uranium.
The Athabasca Basin requires the most cutting-edge construction and mining techniques in order to safely and properly mine the region in the most environmentally-friendly way possibly. This demanding area attracts only the best and sharpest crews, and not surprisingly, it is most often local Canadian companies that bring the Athasaca to the world.
Based out of Saskatoon, QM Points has been in operation in the Athasbasca Basin since 2018. The company has forged its reputation as a leading Indigenous Environmental Construction Contractor committed to Indigenous inclusion, capacity building and long-term sustainability in the Athabasca Basin communities, including Fond du Lac, Stony Rapids, Black Lake, Hatchet Lake, Wollaston Lake, Camsell Portage and Uranium City and beyond. This uniquely solutions-based organization combines the proven success, expertise, and experience of QM Environmental and Points Athabasca Contracting LP.
QM Point’s capabity is exhaustive. QM Points can tackle everything from Environmental Remediation, Full-service remediation services from onsite soil treatment to offsite disposal, including various heavy civil and geotechnical applications, as well as extensive habitat restoration; Environmental Construction; Hazardous Material Abatement; Demolition & Decommissioning; and Emergency Preparedness and Response.
Building Capacity Together
“The strength of our partnership resides in the union of our organizations and our commitment; “Building Capacity Together”,” says Kyle Remus, Vice President.
This has guided the team since its inception. “We look for ways to go beyond job creation, to make a positive long-term impact that generates real wealth and economic benefits, and fully engages the local community in our business,” says Remus. “Giving back to our communities is another way we support our community partners. Many contributions have been established for students, the environment, and the Athabasca workforce on behalf of QM Points.”
The numbers bear this out. QM Points has an outstanding track record of success in using resources from local businesses, community investment, and hiring, training and mentoring people from local communities.
Challenges of the Athabasca Basin
The Athabasca Basin is an extremely vast geographic area that includes some of the most difficult communities to access. QM Points commitment to engage and employ as many local indigenous employees and communities as possible is a winning solution all around—for clients and stakeholders who get a team that knows the challenges and complexities of the region, and for the employees who can take part in the prosperity of the region.
QM Points’ Indigenous Inclusion and Capacity Building Program is the team’s corporate commitment to engaging Indigenous peoples on the projects we undertake. Remus says the program is a proven methodology of integrating with, and contributing to, local Indigenous communities, businesses and peoples through training, employment, sub-contracting and other business ventures.
Examples of QM Points’ commitment and continued success abound.
Over 75 Indigenous peoples have received training across North Saskatchewan in the fields of remediation, demolition, hazardous materials abatement and handling, and emergency response and management. Many of these people have been subsequently hired by QM Points or other employers in a variety of industries.
Local Indigenous peoples have comprised up to 70 per cent of onsite labour on QM Points projects.
QMP has maintained over 80 per cent of its heavy equipment fleet from within the Athabasca Basin and local to project locations.
QM Points has developed productive business relationships with Indigenous and local subcontractors, offering Indigenous entrepreneurs an opportunity to participate and grow their business.
For an example of QM Points’ work, look no further than the Gunnar Mine Other Site Aspects Remediation Project by the Saskatchewan Research Council (“SRC”). Part of the Government of Saskatchewan and Government of Canada efforts to assess and reclaim abandoned northern Saskatchewan uranium facilities (Project CLEANS or Clean-up of Abandoned Northern Sites), the Gunnar Mine and Mill Site poses potential risks to the surrounding communities and environment due to limited previous efforts into decommissioning of abandoned mills and mines in Saskatchewan.
The project involves remediation of the Gunnar Mine site to reduce the overall risk to the immediate environment and to transform the Site to its natural use to allow for re-establishment of vegetation and traditional use of the land.
In 2021, QM Points was contracted to perform the reclamation and remediation of the former Newcor Mine site in Northern Saskatchewan. Newcor mine was a former underground gold mine located on the shore of Douglas Lake, SK with historical Arsenic contamination.
The project consisted of road repair work to access site, clearing and grubbing of vegetation, placement of rip rap over historical Arsenic contamination on the shoreline and within the water of Douglas Lake, consolidation of approximately 3,400m3 of former tailings and contaminated soil into 3 landforms, construction of an engineered cover system for the landforms, construction of an engineered concrete and steel cover for the former mineshaft entrance, topsoil placement and re-seeding of the worksite. The work was completed on schedule and on-budget, leading to the successful reclamation and remediation of 11,000m2 of land.
“The cornerstone of QM Points is effective community engagement with value-added opportunities leading to long-term capacity building,” says Remus. “From project start to finish, we work closely with our clients, partners, and communities to identify and realize mutually-beneficial and value-added opportunities. For example, we have worked with the staff and students of high schools in remote communities to identify, train, coach, and motivate young people to work onsite while gaining credits towards their high school graduation.”
“It is our goal to engage in meaningful dialogue and open the lines of effective communication to give back to the communities with whom we work in order to develop long-term relationships, says Remus. “We achieve this through a committed team of individuals and a corporate culture that understands, supports and promotes Partnerships with Purpose.”
For more information, please visit www.qmpoints.com