Gekko exec on the challenges of working in the Arctic

Gekko Systems’ execs usually talk very proudly about the company’s Python process plant installed at TMAC Resources’ (TSX:TMR) Hope Bay Project, located in Nunavut, Canada.

Speaking to’s Michael McCrae at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada conference, the company’s Technical Director and co-founder, Sandy Gray, was no exception.

According to Gray, the plant has the capacity to treat 1,000 tonnes of mill feed per day, and it comes with a concentrate treatment plant capable of treating up to 300,000 ounces per annum. All this equipment, he said, was manufactured in Ballarat, Australia and shipped in 200 containers to the Arctic Circle in an unprecedented operation.

“The remoteness was challenging,” he said. But not only the isolated conditions of the site had to be taken into account, Gray added. The environmental conditions in the area also posed several challenges. “As outside temperatures regularly drop to minus 50 degrees Celsius, the plant and equipment needed to be designed to withstand such conditions.”

Gekko’s Technical Director also explained that the company was required to meet strict deadlines for the equipment to arrive at Roberts Bay Port, as sea access is only possible each summer for up to ten weeks.