Phase 1 of all-season access road to Prairie Creek completed

Ice bridge crossing over Liard river

Ice bridge crossing over Liard river

25th April 2023

By: Creamer Media Reporter


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The construction of Phase 1 of the all-season access road (ASR) to the Prairie Creek mine, in the Northwest Territories, has been completed, Vancouver-based company NorZinc reports.

This is a significant milestone for the company, achieving the first land access to the Prairie Creek zinc, silver and lead mine in more than 40 years.

The road alignment runs 170 km from Liard Highway 7 to the Prairie Creek mine and will ultimately consist of a 5-m-wide single-lane road to support the resupply of the Prairie Creek mine and for concentrate transportation to Liard Highway 7.

The road will cross the Liard river near Nahanni Butte and will use conventional barge during non-winter operations and ice bridge Prairie Creek all-season road project 2 during winter operations.

Phase 1 construction, also known as the Pioneer Winter Road (PWR), included a mulched trail followed by typical and non-typical winter road construction. The PWR was constructed to allow access to the Phase 2 ASR alignment in order to complete various geotechnical studies to gather information on permafrost and ground conditions among other objectives. These studies were completed by land- and helicopter-assisted field teams and included ground penetrating radar, test pitting and borehole drilling, the latter of which is expected to be substantially complete by the end of this month. 

"Completion of Phase 1 of the ASR marks a significant milestone for the company, not only in providing seasonal land access to the Prairie Creek mine, but it also demonstrates the hard work and investment we have made in the project, our team and the community," said president and CEO Rohan Hazelton.

In parallel with construction of Phase 1 of the ASR, the company has been actively working with both territorial and federal regulatory authorities towards completion and approval of the required management plans for Phase 2 ASR construction, which represents the final step to completion of the fully operational year-round access road to the Prairie Creek project.

The second phase of the ASR will include installation of bridges and culverts, and other road construction activities to complete the ASR, which the company expects to start in 2024.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter


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