100 miners out of work due to Yukon road closure
Nahanni Range Road to North American Tungsten mine washed out in 3 spots
More than 100 miners and mill workers are out of work while construction on the Nahanni Range Road gets underway in Yukon.
North American Tungsten has shut down operations while a government contractor repairs three washouts leading to its mine on the Yukon and N.W.T. border.
A skeleton staff will keep machinery idling until more than a hundred workers are called back.
Heavy rains and snow melt wiped out culverts in three spots on the Nahanni Range Road.
Company CEO Steve Leahy said without large supplies of fuel and food, they had to let most of their workers go until the road re-opens.
"The balance [of workers] are waiting to hear and certainly we appreciate their patience but on the other hand it's certainly out of our hands," said Leahy.
The government estimates it could take up to two weeks to reopen the road.
Leahy thinks it will be sooner, and he said he is encouraged by the government's quick response.
"Also that the contractor, I understand, is already mobilized and equipment is moving towards the particular washouts that need to be repaired. So we are hoping that this will be a little shy of the two-week timeframe that everyone is talking about."
Leahy said it will take a bit of planning and time to get operations going again once the road reopens.
Work continues on Alaska Highway
It's been one week since the Alaska Highway reopened to traffic after washouts and mudslides.
Traffic is still down to one lane in a small section between Teslin and Watson Lake, but officials hope a two-lane detour will be ready within the next couple of days.