Fortis Mining Engineering and Manufacturing – HQ in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

June 27, 2024

Fortis Mining Engineering and Manufacturing

A Canadian success story with a global focus


Leading the Way in Innovation and Reliability in Mining and Infrastructure

Fortis Mining Engineering and Manufacturing, a privately owned company based in Saskatoon, SK, is a pillar in the mining and construction industries. Fortis has a global focus that offers contracting, subcontracting, and consulting services to a wide range of customers. With an extensive portfolio of capabilities in engineering, machining, and fabrication, Fortis specializes in rapid mobilization. Leveraging a team of seasoned professionals and cutting-edge technology, Fortis offers innovative solutions tailored to each project’s specific needs.

Garry Clarke, President of Fortis, recounts the company’s origins, “the genesis of our company was rooted in the work Northern Strands was doing in local mines here in Saskatchewan. Northern Strands, a supplier of mine cables, fittings, and conveyance parts, was frequently involved in service work directly in the mine shafts. However, it became clear that a dedicated entity was needed to do justice to this specialized work.”

Recognizing the need for focused expertise, Clarke led the creation of Fortis Mining Engineering & Manufacturing originally known as Fortis. “We saw a significant opportunity with the numerous upgrades happening in Saskatchewan’s local mines at the time,” he explains. “This period allowed us to refine our processes and build dedicated crews specialized in mining projects.”

Adrianne Jones, Human Resources Manager, highlights the crucial phase from 2007 to 2012 when a wave of skilled talent in the mines retired. “There were numerous tasks that needed expertise, and the retiring workforce left a gap,” Jones notes. Fortis stepped in to fill this void, leveraging our growing reputation and technical know-how to take on these critical projects, a greatly appreciated contribution by the industry.”

Industry reputation

The company’s ability to adapt and expand rapidly despite challenging circumstances was instrumental in its early success. “We were fortunate to work in various mines across the country and even into the United States,” states Clarke. “This exposure accelerated our learning curve and helped us perfect our procedures, earning significant respect within the mining community.”

One of Fortis’ key strengths lies in its problem-solving capabilities. “Engineering firms began to rely heavily on us,” Clarke mentions. “We became known for finding solutions to challenges that others couldn’t. Whether it was dealing with rope-ups, accidents in mine shafts, or complex engineering problems, Fortis was the go-to company for getting the job done.”

Kane Kuiack, Project Portfolio Manager, emphasizes Fortis’ scalability and agility. “We can ramp up personnel for a project by 80 people within a month,” Kuiack states. Our ability to scale quickly while maintaining high quality and safety standards has significantly affected our growth.“


Growing workforce

Fortis continues to build on its strong foundation, applying its proven techniques across various projects. The company has grown substantially, now boasting a workforce of around 200 people. Its commitment and ability to deliver on complex projects have positioned Fortis as a mining, energy, and infrastructure leader.

Local to Saskatchewan, Fortis is closely observing potash and uranium mining trends. With the global population increasing and the demand for renewable, sustainable energy rising, these resources are seeing a significant surge in demand. Fortis has established a strong presence in the local potash market, playing a crucial role in supporting nearly all the potash producers in the province. Looking forward, the company anticipates substantial growth in the uranium sector. It is prepared to help major clients in northern Saskatchewan, adapting its successful strategies from the potash industry to meet the expected rise in demand.

Partnerships with Indigenous communities

Fortis places great importance on fostering meaningful relationships with indigenous communities, especially for projects located near these communities. The company actively seeks to involve local indigenous workers in its projects, partnering with various resources to acquire personnel. The approach not only supports the local economy but also ensures that Fortis’ projects benefit from the unique knowledge and skills of the indigenous workforce.

One of the standout aspects of Fortis’ operations is its extensive and diverse project portfolio. The company has gained international recognition for its expertise in mine shaft and hoist-related work, particularly in mine-hoisted rope installations and conveyance changes. The specialized knowledge has made Fortis a preferred partner for friction hoist projects, especially in the potash industry. The company’s experience and expertise, honed since its inception, have positioned it as a leader in this niche.

Global expansion

Fortis’ reputation extends beyond Canada, with significant projects in the United States, Mongolia, Australia, and the UK. A notable project that highlights Fortis’ global reach and expertise is its long-term involvement in Mongolia. Despite the country’s limited mining infrastructure, Fortis has successfully competed globally to secure contracts for hoist engineering services. The initial project involved the installation of two power-mounted friction hoists, which has since expanded into a five-year contract with a potential extension, focusing on both rope changes and auxiliary services.

Fortis has partnered with a local entity in Mongolia to build a competent resource pool. The goal is to train local providers to deliver services to the same high standard as Fortis. This collaborative approach enhances the local workforce and ensures the sustainability and continuity of Fortis’ regional operations.

Looking ahead, Fortis is exploring opportunities in Australia and other regions with deep underground mines. The company’s long-term outlook includes expanding its expertise and services to meet these markets’ growing demands and solidifying its reputation as a global leader in mining, energy, and infrastructure projects.

Meaningful partnerships

In these projects, global engineering firms have recognized Fortis for making challenging parts of the projects seamless and efficient. These firms value Fortis’ reliability and consistency in meeting project timelines and budgets, reducing uncertainties, and avoiding incidents. Fortis’ ability to integrate smoothly with different safety systems and regulations, even in diverse international environments, further cements its reputation.

Additionally, from a human resources perspective, Fortis emphasizes the importance of the communities in which it operates. These communities are considered informal partners, vital in Fortis’ global expansion and project success. Fortis strives to lead by example, not just in its operational procedures but also in fostering a positive culture and supporting local talent.

By creating a supportive and positive work environment, Fortis impacts its employees, their families, and local communities, reinforcing its commitment to social responsibility and community engagement. The holistic approach to partnerships with engineering firms and local communities has been instrumental in Fortis’ expansion of influence and its position as an industry leader in the mining, energy, and infrastructure sectors.

Strategic growth

Fortis is positioned for significant growth and expansion in the coming years. Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, the company is set to embark on several key projects that have been on its radar for some time. One notable development involves a major global player in the mining industry that recently established operations in Fortis’ local area. Fortis has been positioning itself to become a key partner for this client, leveraging its expertise in rope-ups and mechanical installations.

Another critical focus for Fortis is expanding its global presence. The company has built strong momentum locally, particularly in Saskatchewan, where its reputation has led to referrals and new opportunities abroad. Fortis is now working with several clients operating on a global scale, and these clients are spreading the word about Fortis’ reliability and expertise. This has resulted in Fortis receiving inquiries and project opportunities from regions as far-flung as Australia and other parts of the world.

Clarke stresses the company’s strategic approach to growth: “Our commitment and ability to deliver on complex projects have positioned us as leaders in the mining, energy, and infrastructure sectors.”

Fortis prides itself on being a one-stop shop for client requirements. The company’s ability to innovate and provide comprehensive solutions under one roof sets it apart from competitors. By collaborating internally across divisions, Fortis can take a project from concept to completion, including engineering, design, fabrication, and field implementation. The holistic approach streamlines processes and ensures efficiency, making it highly appealing to clients who prefer a seamless project lifecycle managed by a single entity.

Leadership and vision

Fortis’ workforce is diverse and dynamic, with around 200 employees currently. This includes manufacturing and engineering departments based in Saskatoon and local and international project personnel deployed. The company is committed to investing in its people, recognizing the importance of training, safety, and professional development. This investment enhances the skills of individual employees and contributes to the company’s overall success.

A significant aspect of Fortis’ strategy is its focus on creating a positive culture and supporting the communities in which it operates. The company emphasizes treating and leading its people well, impacting how employees interact with their families and communities. The community-centric approach is integral to Fortis’ operations and reputation.

Fortis’ pathway for new employees is robust, offering opportunities for growth and development at various levels. Whether joining right out of high school or becoming a seasoned professional, there are numerous avenues for advancement. Fortis values the importance of knowledge sharing and mentorship, with experienced employees playing a crucial role in training and guiding recruits. The commitment to growing talent internally ensures that Fortis remains well-equipped to tackle future challenges.

Clarke proudly states, “At Fortis, our commitment to innovation, community, and excellence drives us not only to meet but exceed industry standards, ensuring every project we undertake makes a lasting impact.”


Fortis Mining Engineering and Manufacturing

What: Fortis Mining Engineering and Manufacturing is a privately owned company based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, that provides comprehensive mining, engineering, and manufacturing services to the mining and construction industries.

Where: Headquarters, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan



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