Clearing the way
Miramar to start hauling ore in a week

Dane Gibson
Northern News Services

Yellowknife (Feb 11/00) - In about a week, Miramar Mining Corp. is expected to start hauling ore on city streets.

Over the next year, about 108,000 tonnes of crushed rock will go from Giant mine to Con and the trucks they need to do it will be passing directly in front of William McDonald school.

John Stard is the manager of both mines. He met with William McDonald's Parent Advisory Committee on Wednesday night to shed light on the operation. Stard assured the parents that they have done everything they can to minimize any risks increased truck traffic may represent.

"We're looking at a round trip every hour so there won't be trucks rolling by every five minutes," said Stard.

"I can understand why (the parents) are concerned, but it's pretty straightforward. It's an industrial business we're in, and in an industrial sense (the hauling operation) is quite local and quite small."

Stard said they plan to make 300 trips per month, 10 trips a day, but are restricting the haul to off-school hours between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.

"The trucks are not oversized. They have proper braking and safety systems," said Stard.

"The loads aren't covered, but the crushed rock we're hauling is heavier than the gravel they put on the roads so it will settle in the trucks as they come through. The trucks have a 30-tonne load capacity and they won't be overloaded."

William McDonald principal Gordon Breen was worried about weekend tournaments and evening dances at the school.

Stard told him that with advance notice they can work their hauling schedule around school events, which was fine with Breen.

"We can communicate in advance when there's activities that involve a large number of students or parents and they have promised to accommodate us," said Breen.

"That will alleviate many of the fears we have about evening and weekend truck traffic."

William McDonald parent Marie Petersen was concerned that the access road built to get the trucks off Taylor Road to Con mine is used by students as a short cut to get to an adjoining neighbourhood. Stard said they are putting up security gates to restrict access. Petersen also suggested truck turning signs be put up and Stard agreed to look into it.

"He covered everything that I was concerned about," she said. "It sounds like they are willing to work with us to ensure our students aren't affected by the increased truck traffic."

Although not happy with the fact that it's his school the trucks will be rolling by, Breen is confident they can work with Miramar Mining Corp. to ensure things go smoothly.

"We're very pleased with the environment we have here -- it's one of the most beautiful areas in the city," said Breen.

"But if the City of Yellowknife see the need to have it used in a different way, then we'll co-operate with that."