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True to our Word

Posted on August 10, 2023

Like most mining engineers, eight-year JDS veteran Garrett Whipp gets the job done on behalf of his customers by using specialized mine-planning and 3D-modeling software such as Vulcan, Ventsim, Deswikand AutoCAD.  What sets Garrett apart, however, is his ability to come up withbespokesolutions to assist clients with decision making.

A self-professed “tech nerd,” Garrett says he loves “working on projects that are outside of the normal scope of things, so using and adopting new technologies to provide client solutions is right up my alley.”  For example, Garrett has used his iPhone to create accurate 3D models of underground workings.

One project he’s proud to have led is the Giant Mine Remediation Project near Yellowknife. Co-managed by the Government of Canada and the Government of Northwest Territories, the $4.4-billion project scope is focused on the responsible management of arsenic trioxide waste, site remediation, and backfill placement monitoring support. “We use real-time remote cameras to conduct on-site paste placement monitoring, which is cutting-edge stuff for a legacy underground mine.”

Some of Garrett’s fiery pyrotechnics

Garrett’s hobbies are as varied as his experience in mining. “I’ve been doing professional pyrotechnics for just under 20 years with a group of fellow engineers,” Garrett says. “We do it because it’s fun, and I’ve even given a couple talks and lunch-and-learns about it with JDS.”

His pyrotechnic expertise has been on display for his colleagues during the Colorado School of Mines’ annual Engineering Days where Garrett has put on several shows. “I always advise mine engineering students to do as many internships as they can,” Garrett says. “The more experience you get before you graduate, the better, because it opens up a lot of doors.”

Maintaining these relationships and connections has also opened doors to new business opportunities for JDS, and has brought in the necessary talent when hiring for these new projects. “Every day is different at JDS, and I love that about what I do. One day I might be working on feasibility studies which involve specialized mining software and complex spreadsheets. And the next day I could be on site clambering around inside a 50-year-old mine or completing long hole stope designs. I’ve built my career around underground mining because that’s what I’m passionate about.” “There’s a lot of creativity that goes into underground design, and it’s very rewarding to design something and then see it get built.  We only get one chance at mining the deposit, so we try our best the first time to get it right.”

Giant Mine, Yellowknife NWT