TerraX halted over ice road groomingWork ceased because company exploring for gold near city didn't provide notification
Northern News Services
Friday, January 22, 2016
TerraX Minerals Inc., a company exploring a gold deposit north of the city, was ordered Tuesday to halt activities for 48 hours by a GNWT inspector.
It happened after the company began grooming ice roads with equipment without first notifying the inspector, according to Joe Campbell, the president and CEO of TerraX. The inspector determined that was a breach of the company's land-use permit issued in 2014.
The permit for drilling, use of equipment, storage of fuel, and construction and maintenance of access roads requires the company to notify an inspector 48 hours before activity begins.
"TerraX had notified the inspector (two) weeks ago of when we would begin drilling, but we had failed to notify him that we were grooming ice roads prior to the actual drilling," Campbell wrote in an e-mail to Yellowknifer.
Clint Ambrose, the Department of Lands manager of resource management, determined that activity breached a condition of the company's land-use permit.
Campbell wrote the company accepts responsibility for the violation.
Legislation provides inspectors broad discretion to determine the appropriate response to an alleged violation of a land-use permit condition.
The notice to TerraX states a first offence can result in a fine of up to $100,000, six months in jail or both. Additional violations can result in higher fines.
An inspector doesn't impose the fine - that would be up to the courts. Yellowknifer couldn't confirm by press time if the matter would be going to court.
The site was re-inspected Jan. 20 and no other concerns were found, according to Department of Lands spokesperson Leslie Campbell.
While work was allowed to resume at noon on Thursday, Joe Campbell wrote the company would voluntarily hold off until Friday to restart the work.
The company held a public meeting earlier this month to outline its plans for exploratory drilling over the winter.
It expects to spend up to $3.1 million on exploratory work this year.