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WINNEMUCCA — With the recent opening of a tank farm in Winnemucca, Shell Lubricants positioned itself to serve clients in northeastern Nevada’s mining industry.

“This is a really important milestone for us,” said Tonya Donaldson, global marketing manager for Shell.

The company, with distributor Silver State Petroleum, celebrated the expansion of the Winnemucca Distribution Center, 340 E. National Ave., with a ribbon cutting May 2.

“This is where it’s all going to begin for us,” said Lee Zorn, industrial sales and technical general manager for Shell North America.

Designed as a bulk storage hub for lubricants, the site has 155,000 gallons of total storage capacity in 10 tanks. The two 10,000 gallon tanks, five 15,000 gallon tanks and three 20,000 gallon tanks contain products including engine oil, gear oil, antifreeze, specialized hydraulic oils and torque fluids. Tanks are equipped with filters in two places to prevent contamination by dust and moisture.

“Product integrity of utmost importance,” said Tom Van De Pol, Silver State Petroleum co-owner with Ron Van De Pol, David Atwater and Curtis Thornhill.

Silver State Petroleum has an office in Sparks and a sister company with six locations in California and Arizona, serving clients in the mining and agricultural industries. The distributor employs about 425 people.

“This is a little piece of the big puzzle,” said plant manager Michelle Martinez.

The approximately 3-acre Winnemucca property with railroad spur access features a 7,500-square-foot warehouse that has been in operation since 2015. The distribution center offers packaging of grease from drums into totes that contain up to 385 gallons and delivers totes from a flat-bed truck to several area mines, including KGHM’s Robinson Mine.

“We went out to bid for the first time on our lubricant supplier for our mobile and fixed equipment at Robinson,” said Amanda Hilton, asset manager, maintenance at KGHM’s Robinson Mine, in a testimonial video, “and one of the things that really impressed us was the service component that came with the Shell products.”

Shell sent experts to the mine site to integrate with the maintenance team, work on equipment, and perform inspections and audits. The “lube experts” trained Robinson Mine staff and upgraded the lubricant system so that it is faster, cleaner and more compact.

With the tank farm, Shell and Silver State Petroleum representatives hope to add to their roster of mining customers.

“It’s all about this local supply,” Zorn said.

“And being able to get the product to the mine quickly,” added Korey Adams, Shell sales manager for mining and the West.

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Mining Quarterly - Mining, state and county reporter

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