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Road route, not barge, to supply Tulsequah Mine

Dozen or so barge trips remain to supply road build

Posted: January 8, 2012 - 2:39pm  |  Updated: January 9, 2012 - 12:02am
  Russell Stigall
Russell Stigall

The Taku River Fact-Finding Task Force uncovered a key fact Saturday: Chieftain would not use the Taku River to barge goods in and out of the Tulsequah Mine Project.

Tulsequah Chief is located 40 miles northeast of Juneau. The mine and nearby Big Bull Mine are owned by Chieftain Metals Inc. and are located in British Columbia.

“You pretty much answered all my questions by saying you’re not going to barge,” Task Force member Cherie Rudolph said.

Juneau’s legislative delegation first created the task force in response to Chieftain Metals Inc. barging materials on the Taku to build a water treatment facility for the Tulsequah Mine.

Chieftain’s financial backers told the mining company it had to build a road to receive funding. To use barges would be impractical, the company said.

“It had everything to do with sitting in front of the bankers and saying you know we want to build a mine, and they said If you think you’re doing it with hover barges we’re not giving you money,” Terry Byberg, Vice President, Mining for Chieftain Metals Inc.

The road would start both from Atlin and the mine site. The mine operator would build the two ends together. Material to build the mine-side road will be barged up the Taku. This would constitute 15 to 20 trips. For this Chieftain will use 100-ton barges. Chieftain said these would be the final trips.

The next meeting of the Taku Task Force will take place Jan. 13 at 5 p.m., location to be determined.

• Contact reporter Russell Stigall at 523-2276 or at russell.stigall@juneauempire.com.

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