One quarry has been given the go ahead and another is in the approval stage as companies prepare for the potential needs of future industrial and commercial expansion in the District.
Despite worries from Cable Car residents, Kitimat council has given the thumbs up to a Daudet Creek Creek Contracting request for a three-year temporary use permit to open a 37ha (91.4 acres) quarry and supporting operations across Hwy 37 from the subdivision.
While residents expressed worries about noise, material that may fall from trucks exiting the pit onto the highway and the presence of trucks on the highway, Daudet’s Mark Minifie provided assurances the operation would not affect residents or highway travel.
By a vote of three to two on Nov. 6 with Mayor Phil Germuth and councillors Mary Murphy and Claire Rattée in favour and councillors Edwin Empinado and Larry Walker opposed, council gave its approval subject to nine conditions.
One of those conditions requires Daudet to build a landscape buffer along the edge of its operation alongside Hwy 37. Another requires it to post a $10,000 bond to “ensure adequate mitigation measures are taken to eliminate debris tracked on [the] highway”, while another requires notification when there is to be blasting and other loud noises.
While Daudet moves ahead with its plans, a partnership of the Haisla Nation and Progressive Ventures of Terrace is asking the provincial government for approval for a much larger operation on provincial Crown land adjacent to the road from Kitimat to Kitamaat Village.
Envisioned by the partnership is a 101 ha (250 acre) size operation requiring the area to first be logged, with an eye to an operation of 20 years in duration.
Information filed by the partnership also refers to the operation as a borrow pit, defined as a location where material such as gravel or sand is stockpiled for use in nearby construction or industrial projects.
Plans call for the partnership to incorporate an existing provincial transportation ministry pit while an adjacent piece of land held by the Haisla Trust Society has been tagged as a future location to screen and crush material.
“All mining will be conducted using excavators, articulation rock trucks, front-end loaders and dozers” states an application with the provincial forests, lands, natural resource and rural development ministry.
“The location of the processing area (stockpiling, screening and any crushing) would take place on Haisla fee simple land, in which an additional permit will be required”, the application continued.
The application reveals that Daudet Creek Contracting, as it develops its own operation opposite the Cable Car subdivision, will also be involved in the Haisla/Progressive Ventures project.
Although the application is silent on how many jobs will be created and who will fill those jobs, it does note the project “lies in the traditional territory of the Haisla and …. holds significant meaning to their community.
“The project will work closely with the Haisla people and ensure archaeological, cultural and environmental standards are strictly adhered to.”
District of Kitimat officials have already reviewed application information, with council now asking how many jobs might be created, what kind of truck traffic is anticipated and what the operation’s operating hours might be.
Specific to Kitimat’s plans for a waterfront park on the west side of Minette Bay, the district is wondering if operations will be seen or heard from the park location.
The Haisla and Progressive Ventures are not alone in being interested in the location, as the provincial transportation and infrastructure ministry placed a reserve in 1976 on a portion of the land for an eventual gravel pit of its own.
A statement from the ministry indicated it will provide comments as part of the Haisla/Progressive Ventures approval process.