On-site housing accommodations will soon be available for personnel at Barrick’s Goldrush project. Contract drillers currently working at the project site will no longer have to commute and can instead stay at the Lodge at Pine Valley.
The Goldrush deposit is located approximately 4 miles southeast of Barrick’s Cortez Hills operation. The Lodge at Pine Valley will be located further southeast of the deposit on Barrick’s JD Ranch property, located near the JD Ranch Road turnoff from NV State Route 278. The Lodge at Pine Valley is designed to accommodate up to 300 people and will be a closed facility; accommodations will only be open to Barrick employees and contractors working at the Goldrush project site.
The proposal to build on-site accommodations for workers at the Goldrush project resulted from Barrick’s efforts to study and manage fatigue. Recently, Barrick started looking at employee schedules and the impact a long schedule can have on job performance and personal health. Barrick is working with experts and conducting studies to develop tools to help employees achieve a healthy work-life balance.
“Barrick has decided to build an on-site accommodation facility to manage fatigue and improve quality of life for drilling personnel supporting exploration, development, and operation projects across the Cortez Camp,” says Manager of Mine Site Exploration Mike Penick. The Lodge at Pine Valley will eliminate daily commuting and, most importantly, remove tired, fatigued drivers from the road thus keeping members of the community and Barrick employees safer. Current drilling activities at the Goldrush deposit are fairly remote. Workers commuting from the Elko area are driving two hours each way in addition to working a 12 hour shift, making their work day 16 hours or more. “The four hour commute to the site is excessive and workers will benefit from staying in the camp by receiving the appropriate amount of rest,” says Penick. Since employees will be staying on site, the work schedule will be revised to 20 consecutive days on site followed by 10 consecutive days off.
Barrick has awarded Lone Tree USA with the contract to build and operate the Lodge at Pine Valley. Lone Tree is experienced in running camp facilities which are fully equipped with on-site amenities including a cafeteria, housekeeping services and recreation area. Barrick has done business with Lone Tree when Lone Tree provided accommodation units in South America which contributed to their selection in Nevada. “Lone Tree is a smaller company and it was felt that we would be getting the full attention of their management at all times. They were always very responsive to our inquiries for clarification and would answer in a timely manner with great detail,” says Barrick Project Manager Keith Baldwin.
Dirt removal and site preparation for the facility will begin in August 2012. “The project will be Barrick’s first camp in Nevada and we want to set the standard for similar projects in the future,” says Penick. The Lodge at Pine Valley is estimated to be completed in spring 2013 and will remain open for future project needs within Barrick after the Goldrush exploration phase.