Now Employee Owned
Our mission is to be the leader in safe, productive and innovative mining solutions.
Ron Guill founded SMD in 1982. Mr. Guill is a former Marine Corps officer and graduated from the Mackay School of Mines in Reno, Nevada with a degree in Mining Engineering. As a sole proprietor, Ron placed SMD on the leading edge of mechanized underground mining innovation for 28 years. He sold the company to a group of senior managers in December 2010. These senior managers continued Ron’s legacy over the last ten years. During 2020, the remaining owners felt a strong desire to keep SMD as a leader in the mining industry for the foreseeable future and created a 100% Employee Owned company through an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 2020. We are excited for this new chapter and believe that there are significant benefits to employee ownership. Our goal is to position SMD to be able to continue the strong culture of this great company embrace the future of underground mining.
A few of our innovative mining solutions are presented here. In 1984, SMD pioneered the use of 100% cemented backfill in underhand cut and fill mining. This mining method has been proven in challenging ground conditions and is now widely used in Nevada underground gold projects. SMD portaled into its first pit highwall at the Copperstone Mine in 1989 and we have constructed seventy portals since then. We brought Cubex RC drilling underground in the early 1990’s and have proven the extreme value and versatility of this drilling method for exploration and production. Remote mucking capabilities were added to the mining fleet in the late 1980’s. SMD recognized the safety and productivity advantages to utilizing mechanized bolting and now have one of the largest fleets of mechanical bolters in the United States. Wet shotcrete capabilities were added to several projects in the mid-1990’s proving the safety of this ground support method. We have successfully implemented Atlas Copco’s RCS system on a two-boom jumbo allowing for computerized pattern drilling resulting in improvements in drift size and support requirements. This technology was then adopted on a Simba ME7 drill for stope drilling, which has now been accepted as the “norm” for stope drilling in Nevada.
We have also been on the forefront of solving health related issues underground. Noise and increasingly stringent Diesel Particulate Matter regulations force continuous improvement in our efforts. When others said that cabbed equipment wouldn’t work underground, we started purchasing our prime equipment with operator cabs. We have been actively installing cabs on our existing fleet of equipment as well. We partnered with a “premium” biodiesel provider to assist in overcoming plaguing issues surrounding successful implementation of bio-diesel. These efforts have allowed our fleet to run on a minimum of 20% biodiesel and as high as 70% biodiesel for years without any serious issues. We started converting high utilization fleet to passive diesel particulate filters (DPF) in 2007 and recently purchased an oven to clean DPFs in house. We do emissions-based exhaust testing as a routine part of our preventative maintenance. The landscape is continually changing, but we willingly participate in improving conditions for our workforce.
These are just a few of the innovations currently in use on a daily basis by our experienced miners. They have all given SMD the unique ability to provide safer, more productive, and more cost-effective mining solutions to the underground mining industry.