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Over 30 persons from BHP met with over 200 SIMSA members for a full day of information sharing, on November 7th, 2023. The main topic was procurement for BHP’s Jansen Potash project Stages 1 and now 2 (announced last week).
BHP’s Potash President – Simon Thomas – provided the keynote address which was followed by networking sessions and a “Gallery Walk.” The Gallery Walk featured 10 break-out rooms on a variety of topics, in which SIMSA members could learn about specific project areas of their choosing, then move along to another topic-room for more and information.
Simon Thomas’s presentation covered topics such as an introduction to BHP globally and in Canada including their key business priorities, and update on Jansen Stage 1 including Operational Readiness focus, as well as an update on Jansen Stage 2.
Simon Thomas President Potash BHP addresses SIMSA members
A Territory welcome was provided by Sheldon Wuttunee, CEO of the Saskatchewan First Nations Natural Resources Centre of Excellence. The Centre is a partner with SIMSA on several initiatives, in addition to being parallel partners in our work with BHP – identifying local vendors and the like.
SIMSA’s Executive Director Eric Anderson noted that, “A couple of months ago, I was fortunate to speak with The Centre of Excellence’s Board, and I expressed a vision. The vision was, ‘We are walking-up on a massive economic opportunity together – one far too big for either of us to handle. So, if we work together, we can grab more of that opportunity. And now we’ve begun that hunt.’”
Attendees also learned about developing new employees via presentations by The Regina and District as well as Saskatoon Industry Education Councils, and the Women Building Futures program.
BHP and Hatch/Bantrel have done 48,386 searches on SIMSA’s member database to shortlist local suppliers, and this is up by about 18,000 searches over the past year alone.
The Gallery Walk featured rooms on the topics of:
- Room 1 – Technical
- Room 2 – Innovation
- Room 3 – Warehouse & Inventory Logistics
- Room 4 – Global Indigenous Procurement
- Room 5 – Procurement and Supply
- Room 6 – Strategies & Studies
- Room 7 – HSE
- Room 8 – Planning & Technical
- Room 9 – Processing & Underground Ops
- Room 10 – Jansen Stage 2
A portion of the ongoing Gallery Walk with a few persons networking
There was also a virtual reality tour of Jansen beside the stage for attendees to view.
A few weeks before the event, SIMSA gathered questions from its members for BHP to answer; some were answered by Simon Thomas and some during the gallery walk. A few were left-out by these, so they were answered during a Panel discussion with:
- Christoff Kuhn – Project Director for the Jansen Project
- Graham Reynolds – General Manager, Operational Readiness
- Jamie Brecht – Head of Projects Commercial
SIMSA’s Executive director Eric Anderson hosts the panel discussion.
Event sponsors were Graham Construction and Strike Group.
Eric Anderson stated, “With the addition of the Gallery Walk, SIMSA’s traditional Roundtable events have hit a new level. Our members found great value in the focused discussions.”