THUNDER BAY, ONT. — Impala Canada is expanding its collective of suppliers and partners to meet the needs of its growing Lac des Iles mine site.
The company started a new procurement portal that, according to John Macey, manager of procurement with Impala Canada, will bring more efficiency and transparency to Impala’s procurement process.
“The portal is designed to make it easier for supply and service companies to register their companies, and their offerings with us and be included in our bidding processes,” he told The Chronicle-Journal. “Part of effective procurement is knowing what is out there and this portal helps us identify more options so we can find the right company for the right job.”
Lac des Iles Mine is located 90 minutes northwest of Thunder Bay and has been in operation for nearly 30 years. The mine employs a workforce of more than 1,000 employees and contractors and is one of only two known pure palladium sources in North America.
Impala Canada is increasing the Lac des Iles Mine production from 10,000 to 12,000 tonnes per day. The recent addition of a crushing circuit, an investment of nearly $30 million, is projected to improve the long-term performance of the mill.
Macey says they procure a huge range of items to run their operation, which includes everything from 60-ton haul trucks that haul ore and the parts that service those trucks, to timber for construction projects and bed linens for their camp.
“We also procure a wide variety of services, like dam building contractors and security contractors,” he said. “As our business grows, Impala Canada needs to grow its community of suppliers and partners, too.”
Impala Canada already has established “an incredible team” of suppliers from the region. Macey says they invested $90 million in contracts with 299 Northwestern Ontario businesses in 2021 alone.
“We want to add to that team and be sure we know about all the local companies that could help us reach our business goals,” he said, adding that Impala Canada aims to generate value, which includes contributing to Thunder Bay’s socioeconomic fabric.
He says by working with local companies, local capacity is strengthened and training and employment opportunities are created.
“The ripple effects of skills, employment, and training in a community are countless,” he said.
The procurement portal is easily accessed online. A simple two-step registration process involves visiting their website at impalacanada.com/contact-us/Becoming-a-Supplier. Create a user account with the portal by visiting the procurement section of the website then complete the supplier registration process. Macey says once the account is created, the company will receive an email from the platform requesting they click on a link and complete the registration process.
Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal