Tahltan Arrow Begins Hauling Concentrate from Silvertip Mine

Together with our partner Arrow Transportation, TNDC has achieved its first contract with JDS Silver’s Silvertip Mine, hauling zinc concentrate via the Tahltan Arrow joint venture. Arrow Transportation is an industry leader in bulk commodity hauling. Under the contract, Tahltan Arrow is hauling two loads a day from the bottom of the mine site west of Watson Lake, near the Yukon-British Columbia border down Highway 37 to Stewart Bulk Terminals in Stewart. This marks the second contract for the Tahltan Arrow partnership; the first is with the Red Chris mine.

The Silvertip contract is employing six people, utilizing two trucks operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The trip time averages 12 to 14 hours, depending on weather conditions. Under the initial one-year contract, Tahltan Arrow will haul an estimated 25,000 tonnes of concentrate. The concentrate is being hauled in special Super B units with a side tipper for unloading and nine axles to support the weight.

The 9 axle Super B is the heaviest B train allowed on BC roads and requires special permits from the Ministry of Transportation. The government imposes restrictions on who can drive the units due to their weight: the 9 axle Super B can legally carry 72,300 kg on the road; the 8 axle Super B is allowed 63,500 kg. Winter road conditions also require highly experienced and skilled transport drivers.

One of the Tahltan Arrow-branded 9 Axle Super B side tipper units being used to haul zinc concentrate from the Silvertip Mine near the Yukon-British Columbia border to Stewart Bulk Terminals as part of an estimated 25,000 kg of concentrate annually.

Darrell Remple, Arrow’s Division Manager in Stewart, shares perspective. “Safety is our highest priority. The bulk of these units and the driving conditions require the best transport drivers. They need to have the experience, aptitude and confidence to handle the loads, navigate the roads, trouble shoot mechanical issues and physically respond to hazardous weather conditions.”

To meet government permit and industry safety requirements, Arrow has a strict and comprehensive training program. To begin driving an 8 axle Super B, Arrow provides 250 hours of training to drivers with one to two years’ experience driving heavy equipment. New Super B drivers train with an experienced driver, then follow an experienced driver on the road for anywhere from one to six months, as long as needed for the new driver to feel comfortable driving solo. They need a minimum of two years’ experience driving the 8 axle Super B before graduating to the 9 axle Super B. 

TNDC and Arrow Transportation are eager to bring more Tahltans under the Tahltan Arrow partnership, building capacity while fostering local employment. Under the Red Chris contract, Tahltan Arrow is hauling 150,000 tonnes a year. It equals 10 loads a day and employs 18 drivers operating seven trucks a day, 24 hours a day.

Peter Arendt, CEO of TNDC, says the Tahltan Arrow Joint Venture spotlights the enhanced capability TNDC brings through its partnerships, which benefits the natural resource industry. “Arrow Transportation has the specialized trucks, experienced drivers and commitment to safety that has earned the company a first-rate reputation as a transportation leader in bulk commodity hauling, making them a valuable business partner.”

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  • We’ve had many projects in Tahltan territory through our Rescan Tahltan Environmental Consultants (RTEC) partnership, and the experience has been excellent. TNDC’s management team has been an honorable and knowledgeable group to work with. They always look at ways to make things work, and we have developed lasting friendships. It’s been an honour to work together.
    Clem Pelletier
    former CEO, Rescan Group
  • We established the Tahltan Macro Industries Joint Venture with TNDC in 2009. Macro is very satisfied with the relationship we have with TNDC. The company has a reputation of being a solid and reputable business corporation, that emphasizes value added partnerships and business developments. We look forward to working with TNDC in future opportunities.
    Darcy Friesen
    Manager of Business Development & Special Projects, Macro Industries
  • Ledcor recognized the benefits offered through the Tahltan’s local expertise and experience, and welcomed the opportunity to involve community members in projects. We established Tahltan-Ledcor Joint Venture back in 1991 when we managed construction on the Eskay Creek mine. We value the partnership with TNDC and look forward to the opportunities ahead within Tahltan traditional territory.
    Rodger McLean
    Past Business Development & Aboriginal Relations Manager, Ledcor
  • We worked with TNDC on the Galore Creek mining project and the Northwest Transmission Line, providing heavy lift helicopter services. It made good business sense to get involved with the Nation, so we formed Tahltan Helifor Joint Venture in 2011. After meeting Bill Adsit, I knew we had made the right decision. We have had only positive experiences and look forward to continued collaboration.
    Gary Laidlaw
    President & General Manager, Helifor Canada Corp.
  • TNDC is a great place to work. The atmosphere in the office is friendly, open, and honest, and there is always humour and laughter. I like that TNDC maintains an active approach of hiring locally and offers training within that position. Employees are highly encouraged and supported to advance professionally, which ripples into advancing personally as well.
    Rhonda Quock
    Finance & Administration Manager, TNDC
  • Sodexo Canada has been a partner with TNDC since 2002, providing complete camp management through Spatsizi Remote Services. During this time we have worked on many projects, and employed many Tahltan members. It’s been very positive, and the business relationships have formed long lasting personal and business friendships.
    Ivor MacGregor
    Vice President, Operations, Sodexo Canada Ltd.