Opening a can of worms

Mount Milligan Mine is looking at opening up their environmental assessment (EA) to make some changes.

Mount Milligan Mine is looking at opening up their environmental assessment (EA) to make some changes.

One change they would like to make would be to apply to maintain a camp on the mine site during the operational phase.

According to Jocelyn Fraser, director of corporate responsibility for Thompson Creek, the need to reopen the EA is due to changes in commute times due to poor road conditions.

The company expected the commute would take one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes, but it has been taking significantly longer and it may mean asking people to commit to a 15- or 16-hour day.

There was no suggestion to change shift schedules, however.

During their application process Fraser said they have had some people say they are not wanting to do such a long commute.

The change would also allow the mine to expand their employee catchment area to Prince George, Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof.

They still feel the four-on, four-off schedule would keep the labour in the region, as it wouldn’t allow for travel from other parts of the country or province.

“One of the big issues right now is there’s a shortage of skilled labour,” said Fraser. “It’s definitely a job-seeker’s market.”

The mine is also hoping to change another aspect in its original plan, the load-out location, which was planned and approved to be located in Fort St. James, but would still need to be constructed.

At the time of application, the load-out facility in Mackenzie was being used to capacity by Kemess Mine and the road from the mine site to Mackenzie was not up to grade for loaded ore trucks, according to Fraser.

Both those situations have now changed, and she said Mount Milligan would like to examine this option.

“We think it makes sense to take a look at using some of the existing infrastructure on the Mackenzie side,” said Fraser.

In addition, using the road between Mackenzie and Mount Milligan for the ore-hauling would keep the ore trucks off of public roads, while hauling the ore to Fort St. James would require driving down the North Road from the Rainbow Road to the Tachie Road.

“We have to take a long-term look at what the road usage would be like based on what cut patterns are and all the rest,” said Fraser.

The first step will be for Thompson Creek Metals to put a letter forward to the Environmental Assessment Office to start the process.

Mayor Rob MacDougall said the maintenance of a camp during the operational phase is not what the community supported.

The load-out changing to Mackenzie is also a concern for himself and council.

“I guess from a business point of view … that’s fine,” he said. “But we supported the idea of the load-out here because it would have involved probably 20 full-time, long-term jobs and we’re struggling to replace the job loss that we experienced from Stuart Lake Lumber where there was plus or minus 150 workers that were out of work.”

Fraser said she will continue discussions with both Mayor MacDougall as well as the Mackenzie mayor and the community.

“It’s early in the process and we don’t have answers to all the questions but we felt it’s better to start talking to people early on about what we’re thinking,” she said.

Fraser also pointed out the added opportunity for continued service jobs at a camp.

They are now looking at design and logistical possibilities for the potential 300-person camp, but she said they are still going to offer the option for employees to live in Fort St. James or Mackenzie, and are continuing work on housing developments.

The 12 townhouse units in Fort St. James will be available soon, as will 18 modular units in Mackenzie.

The mine is also still continuing work on the 50-lot development in Fort St. James. They already have two single-family residences in Fort St. James and a 23-lot subdivision in Mackenzie.

 

Mount Milligan still anticipates being operational by the third quarter of 2013, with full production by 2014.

 

 

Just Posted

New book about Vanderhoof’s past will be on shelves this spring

Nechako Valley Historical Society is finishing up the book that has involved the whole community

B.C. chiefs show solidarity with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Chiefs from around B.C. outside the Coastal GasLink pipeline route in Smithers show support.

Woman killed in head-on crash near Vanderhoof

RCMP say driver crossed the centre line and hit a loaded fuel tanker truck

RCMP to review actions at Wet’suwet’en pipeline protest camps

Senior Mountie says he hopes protests will be peaceful following deal with hereditary chiefs

‘Tripod’ delays access to Unist’ot’en camp

Social media rumours of cultural significance quashed, meaning police “exclusion zones” should end.

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Canada’s arrest of Huawei exec an act of ‘backstabbing,’ Chinese ambassador says

China has called Canada’s arrest of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou ‘politically motivated’

Port authority imposes ban on development around Lelu Island

Following Pacific Northwest LNG, there will be no future projects proposed near Flora Bank

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

Most Read