02 October 2006


As you may have heard, we've been having a bit of a (delayed) kerfluffle in Nome over the mines at Rock Creek (just north of town) and Big Hurrah (east of town). One of the strands of argument concerns the proposed use of cyanide at the mine and one of the strands of that argument concerned the transport and storage of several hundred thousand pounds of the stuff in Nome.

Well last week - just a few days into NovaGold's transport of material from the port to their staging area - a container van of cement slid off a truck and off the road. Nothing spilled, no one was hurt, the seatainer was picked up within a couple of hours, and life went on... but it's raised some concerns about what might have happened had it been, say, cyanide or ammonium nitrate and the Connex hadn't held together.

Throughout the planning process Nova has reiterated their commitment to local hire and contracting and it was a well-established local trucking company (Q Trucking, hence the pun in the title of this post) that was doing the transport. There was some disagreement at the accident site on Thursday as to whether Q had the container vans properly secured on their flatbeds and what regulations governed such transport.

I don't have any answers to those questions but I can report - after talking with Nova's vice president for Alaska this afternoon - that Q will continue to be the contractor of choice for the transport of Nova's material. Doug Nicholson says they talked with Q, addressed "the situation," and intend to retain Q. He didn't say what the situation may have been or what problems - if any - there may have been with Q's performance.

Just for the record. It'll be on KNOM Update News tomorrow.

No comments: