The 60th-anniversary celebrations at Redpath's North Bay base of operations on Highway 11 North included the unveiling of its new, state-of-the-art mobile equipment repair facility.
It is an $8.5-million investment in the global mining supplier's North Bay infrastructure and, according to Redpath, a clear indication of its continued confidence in North Bay as the ideal location for its headquarters. The new 15,600-square-foot building consists of six repair bays, and two inspection bays, along with welding and washing bays.
Thanks to the new shop, Redpath Mining Contractors and Engineers will be able to handle the complete life-cycle of any piece of equipment from its underground mining fleet in-house. The new building incorporates environmentally conscious features including solar-powered auxiliary power units, heated floors, wastewater collection and recycling, and recirculated air for ventilation.
Company founder Jim Redpath, 86, sent a message of congratulations from his home on the Atlantic coast, saying he "could not have imagined 60 years ago that the company would turn into what it is. It's the people. It's not me. All the great people that came through here. That is what saved the company."
Redpath started the company in 1962 with the commitment to provide superior contracting services to the mining industry. It has grown to a multi-national entity with offices also located in the U.S., Indonesia, Mongolia, Germany, South Africa, Australia and Zambia.
Redpath Group CEO George Flumerfelt marvelled at the company's staying power, noting that 20 per cent of all businesses fail within two years and 65 per cent of businesses fail within 10.
"It's pretty remarkable that a company started in 1962 by Redpath with four employees, now has 6,400. How is that possible? We aim high in the services we provide to our clients. We do it well and that reputation is what we live on today. We don't live off our reputation, we can't rest on our laurels."
Paul Healy, Redpath's Americas president, explained some of the reasoning behind the $8.5-million investment in the world-class repair facility.
"All the equipment we use in the field in Canada and the U.S. is based out of the North Bay facility. It comes here, we commission it from here, when it needs to be repaired it comes back here," said Healy. But as the volume of equipment grew so did the need for a new facility.
"We discussed what we needed, we put a business case together, and lo and behold this is the result," he added, while looking around the shiny new building.
Not that it will stay shiny for long, the Redpath team noted, as they guaranteed the day's event would be the last formal one thrown on the shop floor so as to not interfere with its daily purpose.
Jim Redpath formulated the company’s philosophy at an early stage. The philosophy derived from his belief that the focus of every employee must be on doing a good job for the client. To this date, this fundamental principle is present on every worksite and in every corporate communication. All projects are viewed through the lens of how a decision or action will affect both the client and the company. .
Services include mine development, shaft sinking, mass excavation, production mining, raiseboring, mechanized raise mining, underground construction, mechanical excavation, engineering and technical services, along with specialty services. The company is renowned for successfully tackling projects in extreme climates and locations, and for delivering practical, innovative solutions.