Same material, new name for Polaris

Orca Sand and Gravel quarry parent company draws distinction between construction aggregate and mineral mining

  • Jan. 19, 2015 5:00 p.m.

PORT McNEILL—Polaris Minerals Corporation, which opened the Orca Sand and Gravel Quarry here in 2007 with an estimated 50-year lifespan, is no more.

But that doesn’t mean the company is going anywhere.

Vancouver-based Polaris announced that, effective Jan. 1, it will now be known as Polaris Materials Corporation.

“The change of name is considered important as the company strives to be correctly identified as a producer of construction materials, not a metal mining entity,” said Herb Wilson, President and CEO. “It was also considered important to retain the Polaris name which is well established in the construction aggregates sector and has garnered respect for its positive relationships with First Nations, customers and all levels of government.”

The change of name was approved by shareholders at the Company’s 2014 Annual General Meeting, where 99.3% of the votes cast were in favour of the proposed change of name. The Company will continue to have the same TSX stock symbol of ‘PLS’ and will adopt a new logo to accompany the change.

Polaris Materials Corporation will remain exclusively focused on the development of quarries and the production of construction aggregates — sand and gravel — in British Columbia for marine transport to urban markets on the Pacific coasts of North America to meet growing local supply deficits. After its construction near Port McNeill throughout 2006, Polaris in early 2007 began shipping sand and gravel from the Orca Quarry to San Francisco Bay, Vancouver and Hawaii.

The company began its local operation with a stakeholder share agreement with both the Kwakiutl and ‘Namgis First Nations, and its workforce includes employees from both bands.

After suffering a downturn in 2008-09 due to the economic recession that impacted markets throughout North America, Polaris has rebounded strongly as construction in the California market and in Hawaii has rebounded.

“We were especially delighted that the company’s efforts were recently recognized when Polaris won the 2014 BC Export Award in the natural resources category,” Wilson said.

The Orca Sand and Gravel Quarry employs a low-impact conveyor system which moves material from the plant to offshore ships with a minimum of vehicle and fuel expenses. Soil and surface material removed to access the aggregate material below is replaced for reclamation and re-growth.