Photo: HP Jansen Potash Stash


By Roman Hayter


Two companies have been granted a multi-year base contract for approximately $86 million by BHP to supply camp support services at its BHP Jansen Potash project.

ATCO and George Gordon First Nation began collaborating as a 50-50 joint venture in 2011, and Wicehtowak Frontec Services is now a majority Indigenous-owned corporation.

The new BHP contract is intended to sustain around 130 local jobs, with Indigenous workers accounting for 70 percent of the total workforce.

“This contract will help address poverty, as our community will have equitable access to sustainable long-term employment, training, and education. We are looking forward to working collaboratively with our partners,” said Chief Byron Bitternose.

BHP’s Discovery Lodge contains a variety of facilities and can accommodate up to 2,500 personnel. WFS’s primary responsibilities will include facility management and administration, food services, programming, cleaning and janitorial duties, and maintenance. Jim Landon, the president of ATCO Frontec, said that training and development programs will be implemented for indigenous employees. “Our aim is to deliver the highest quality service and safety for the camp residents, and we will implement training and development programs for Indigenous employees in the hospitality industry,” said Landon.

Simon Thomas, President, Potash and BHP, said that together the groups will provide quality local support and services. “BHP is thrilled to announce the partnership with WFS for our camp support services and embark on this meaningful work together. Together, we will create local jobs and training opportunities and provide Jansen with high-quality local support and services as we build one of the world’s most modern, technically advanced, and sustainable potash mines. Our partnership with WFS is an opportunity to help bring this to life and is part of upholding our commitment to the six First Nations surrounding the Jansen site, with whom we have Opportunity Agreements,” said Thomas.

WFS will begin work at the Jansen Potash Project in early April.