<p>The PEXCO Company’s Justine Sorensen, one of the many attendees at the 2016 Quarry Academy, took away valuable lessons on improving process efficiency for producing aggregates in a safe environment.</p>
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The PEXCO Company’s Justine Sorensen, one of the many attendees at the 2016 Quarry Academy, took away valuable lessons on improving process efficiency for producing aggregates in a safe environment.

Master blaster

For three days in November, Dyno Nobel and Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology conducted the 11th annual Quarry Academy, an educational event focusing on improving process efficiency for producing aggregates in a safe environment. Minestories spoke with one attendee, Justine Sorensen, construction blasting and quarry drilling manager at The PEXCO Company, about her job and what she learned at the 2016 event.

WHAT IS THE PEXCO COMPANY’S FOCUS?
The PEXCO Company is an American contractor that focuses on construction drilling and blasting, and quarry drilling.

WHAT ARE YOUR KEY RESPONSIBILITIES AT WORK?
I manage our drillers and blasters. In construction, that pertains to obtaining permits, meeting with gas and electricity companies about where we’re blasting, and managing the relationships with our contractors. But I also have some blasting duties, particularly when we get busy. On the quarry side, I manage the drills and coordinate our tasks while organizing the work flow for the team.

WHAT DO YOU FIND CHALLENGING AND ENJOYABLE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
In the construction business, the only constant is change. That’s the biggest challenge: staying on top of a forever-shifting landscape. And I love blasting – who doesn’t? All of it, the physics of it, the controlled explosions. It’s always vital to adhere to safety standards, but I must say that having all that power at your fingertips is thrilling.

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST STRENGTHS OF YOUR SANDVIK DRILLS?
We have two Sandvik DX800 drill rigs and just bought a new one recently. Even though we only have a few, the durability and versatility of a DX800 is hard to beat.

ABOUT JUSTINE SORENSEN

TITLE: Construction blasting and quarry drilling manager
HOBBIES: Camping, hiking and walking her dog Bentley, a German Shepherd-Malamute-Husky mix.
FAMILY: Oldest of seven children (three brothers and three sisters).

WHAT DID YOU THINK ABOUT THE QUARRY ACADEMY?
Our company has a strong relationship with Buckley Powder Company, a joint venture with Dyno Nobel, and it was recommended to me by one of their reps as a great way to better understand the business. I’m quite impressed with the event overall. I really appreciated the examples and data put forth to make a point, particularly during the seminar on fuel consumption and how different options offer different savings. An event like this with a mix of experts, professionals, managers, foremen and labourers provides for a fantastic learning experience and a great networking opportunity.

ABOUT THE QUARRY ACADEMY

Held every year, the Quarry Academy features industry experts in mineral extraction, drilling, blasting, crushing, sizing, processing and law, sharing knowledge and best practices with attendees.