Mine closed as flooding continues

North American Tungsten has shut down mining and milling operations at its mine site up the Nahanni Range Road because the highway is still closed.

North American Tungsten has shut down mining and milling operations at its mine site up the Nahanni Range Road because the highway is still closed.

Flooding washed out the highway in three places during heavy rains and snowmelt two weeks ago.

“It was a bit of a disaster; not only the Nahanni road, but obviously the Alaska Highway, and the Robert Campbell,” said CEO Steve Leahy.

“Yikes, it gets a little scary.”

Some employees continue to work on maintenance projects originally scheduled for later in the summer. About 100 miners, however, are still waiting to come back to work.

They are still getting paid, Leahy said.

A bridge has been installed at the first washout, and work continues to repair the second and third, said Allan Nixon with the Department of Highways and Public Works.

“They really put their backs into this, both YTG and the contractor,” said Leahy.

Nixon hopes the road will be open for moving supplies to the mine sometime next week, although he fears it may take longer.

Yukon MP Ryan Leef spoke in Parliament last week about the Yukon’s response to the unprecedented flooding.

“As usual, Yukoners have rallied, repairing damage and getting on with business. The territorial government stepped up quickly and purposefully. I commend all Yukoners. Their perseverance and industry make me proud to be a Yukoner.”

The Canol Road is also still closed. Repair work there was delayed due to high water levels.

Nixon hopes that road, too, will open some time next week.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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