TNDC regrets having to share news there will be a further reduction in the number of TNDC personnel working on the Red Chris tailings impoundment area (TIA) in 2017. TNDC Board of Directors and Management understand the significance of the situation and the impact it will have on TNDC’s employees, their families and the Tahltan community.
TNDC appreciates this is not welcome news, but to ensure accuracy, honesty and transparency with Tahltan shareholders and members, TNDC is sharing the background information. On Monday, June 19, 2017 TNDC operations personnel received notice from Red Chris personnel about plans to further reduce the number of TNDC personnel on the TIA project for the remainder of 2017. TNDC’s total manpower requirement for the TIA will be further reduced from approximately 40 to approximately 10 (an estimated five personnel per dayshift crew/shift for a total of 10 personnel for the two-week turnarounds).
TNDC management requested an explanation for the reduction in manpower. Red Chris management advised that TNDC has now completed our portion of major works at the TIA for 2017. TNDC management expressed our disappointment in the situation and stressed the consequences for TNDC personnel and equipment. In addition to the reduction in personnel, TNDC’s rental equipment fleet used onsite by TNDC operators will need to be returned, further reducing TNDC’s immediate capabilities. The reduction in personnel will unfortunately mean a significant reduction in production volume and revenue for 2017, which will in turn have a considerable impact on TNDC’s 2017-18 financial performance.
TNDC management has asked Red Chris management for clarification on the work plan for 2017 and beyond to maximise work on the TIA and road maintenance, as well as pursuing other contract opportunities. Red Chris management has advised there are some smaller jobs for 2017 that may be available for TNDC to carry out. TNDC is awaiting details from Red Chris about the specific jobs, length of time, equipment requirements, etc. TNDC will continue to pursue additional contracts at Red Chris and seek opportunities to reinstate TNDC personnel wherever possible.
Having to reduce personnel is troubling, given TNDC’s mandate to generate employment and training opportunities for Tahltan members and to increase the Nation’s participation in resource development occurring in Tahltan Territory. During the life of the Red Chris project and mine operations, TNDC management has had ongoing discussions with Red Chris and Imperial Metals management about increasing TNDC’s work and manpower at the mine, in construction, on projects and in daily mine operations. TNDC was already facing a reduction in the Red Chris TIA contract for 2017 from 2016 levels, following completion of the major phase of TIA construction.
TNDC management has also been working proactively with TNDC’s business partners and meeting with mine developers, operators and mineral exploration companies active in Tahltan Territory to pursue contract opportunities. This effort will continue, together with the pursuit of other opportunities to diversify TNDC’s revenue stream. In the short-term, TNDC is actively seeking 2017 job opportunities for employees who have been directly impacted by the layoffs at Red Chris.
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