Mike Smith has been building camp systems for mining operations and other customers in Alaska for more than 30 years. His shelter of choice is made by Alaska Structures, and it’s been that way since 1985.
“Consistency is a big deal to me,” he said. So is value, and that’s another reason why Smith, owner and president of Alaska Minerals Inc., continues to use proven Alaska Structures' camp systems.
“It’s a good quality product and when you’ve been buying the same product for so darn many years you don’t change in the middle of the stream,” he said.
Smith said his company usually takes down its fabric buildings if they’re in areas with snowfalls of 14 or more feet, or if they’re in areas without much security.
Alaska Minerals mostly installs gable-style fabric buildings that are 12’ wide, 16’ wide and 24’ wide. Smith said the lengths vary, as do the applications.
For sleepers, Alaska Minerals uses 12’ x 10’ and 12’ x 20’ tensile structures. Alaska Structures' buildings in 12’ x 20’ and 16’ x 30’ sizes are used for offices and shower facilities. For dining facilities, Alaska Minerals installs 16’ x 30’, 16’ x 40’ and 24’ wide fabric tension structures.
About half of those structures feature Alaska Structures’ proprietary insulation packages.
Smith said his American-made Alaska Structures' fabric buildings offer a solid return on investment.
“I get enough return that I keep several people employed and make a living,” he said. “I get a lot of longevity out of them so, therefore, I feel like if I got a brand-new building I can’t rent it for anymore than if I’ve got one that’s 5 years old. So, from the standpoint of lifespan or longevity, I get a very good return out of them.”
“I’ve got buildings that are 15 years old or more that I’m still using, but we’re taking them down every year.”
Smith said it usually takes Alaska Minerals about five days to build a 15-man camp system. “You can slap those (shelters) up in a couple or three days, but then there’s electrical, steps up to them, water systems, putting in stoves — the whole nine yards,” he said.
Smith said he recommends Alaska Structures to the people he knows — up to a point. “There’s no reason why I shouldn’t, that’s for sure,” he said. “Although I don’t recommend (Alaska Structures) to a lot of people because I don’t want competition.”
ABOUT ALASKA MINERALS INC.
Founded by Mike Smith, Alaska Minerals provides remote-site camp rentals and expediting services, mining and drilling product sales, logistics and camp consulting. For more information or to rent a durable camp system for mining and more, call +1-907-522-3366.