Mobilizing Remote Camp Services at the Only Cobalt Mine in the U.S.

Published on : 2/14/23
  • Sodexo successfully mobilized facility management services and food services at Jervois Mining’s cobalt operations, the only cobalt mine in the United States. Located 42 miles from the nearest town and at 8,100 ft. in elevation, mobilization was no easy feat. Leaning on over 50 years of industry experience and best practices from Sodexo's operations in more than 100 remote camps globally, our team of experts was able to orchestrate a safe and successful launch in just two weeks.


    Jervois Mining is a global supplier of responsibly sourced cobalt and nickel materials. In 2019, the company acquired the partially complete Idaho Cobalt Operation near Salmon, Idaho, the only primary cobalt mine in the United States.

    The critical metal is necessary for electric vehicle production, among other key industries. Jervois predicts the mine will produce about 2,000 tons of cobalt a year — that’s about 10% to 13% of America’s annual requirement for cobalt.

    In the summer of 2022, Sodexo was engaged to provide facility and food services at the Jervois mining camp. Workforce accommodation services include front desk reception, food services, and housekeeping.

    With over 50 years of global experience in integrated facilities management and catering in mining and industrial camps, we know remote site services through and through. We understand the challenges of working in remote and isolated locations. From running a camp with thousands of workers in Australia’s Pilbara region to mobilizing at one of Canada’s most remote mines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, our ability to adapt to a region and react to unforeseen circumstances at a moment’s notice is part of our expertise.

    The Challenge

    Situated deep in Idaho’s Salmon-Challis National Forest, the mining camp is situated at 8,100 feet elevation and covered in snow nine months of the year. To reach the mining site from the base office in Salmon, Idaho, you have to drive 42 miles on a dirt road, and over two mountain passes, making the Jervois camp one of our most remote mining locations.

    The main challenge was making sure all necessary equipment and supplies — from linens and beddings, room furniture, and kitchen appliances to cleaning supplies and food — were delivered and ready for operation within a two-week period.  

    For ten days, the team worked relentlessly to be ready for operations. We pulled together all available resources to support our on-site operators and make this mobilization a success.

    Working With a Robust Supply Management

    Relying on our integrated expert supply team was critical. We were able to lower costs by leveraging our purchasing power and using the storage capabilities at our 40,000-square-foot warehouse in Harahan, Louisiana.

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    To allow the team on-site to focus on getting the place up and running, our dedicated supply team worked tirelessly in the background, sourcing and orchestrating the delivery of goods from both local and national partners. While most of the necessary supplies were ordered and shipped directly to the Salmon base camp office and storage containers, three truckloads full of larger equipment and furniture, as well as linens and cleaning supplies, were stored at the Harahan warehouse and delivered in time.


    Since September, our operations have been running smoothly thanks to our multifaceted team that worked together to uphold the highest operational standards, despite the challenges posed by the site's location.

    A Jervois Mining manager says:

    The biggest strength of Sodexo’s offering was their experience. That gave us a level of comfort we didn’t get with the competitor. That experience is important to us.

    Partnering with us means knowing that your workforce is taken care of, directly impacting day-to-day operations. Our team focuses on everyday actions and is committed to enhancing the quality of life of our guests. We provide support services that keep your camp running without interruptions, so you can focus on what you are here for in the first place.

    Learn more about our remote site management solutions.