An inspector with the GNWT’s Department of Lands says he is “very disappointed” with the state of one of Gold Terra’s drilling sites near Walsh Lake, north of Yellowknife.
In a letter to Gold Terra’s chief operating officer Joseph Campbell dated April 8, inspector Clint Ambrose cited several violations of the company’s land use permit for the area in and around Yellowknife, specifically at the Mispickel drilling site north of the city.
”The permittee drilled from nineteen (19) setups and unfortunately the inspector was very disappointed with the cleanliness of the majority of the completed setups,” the letter reads. “Drill waste management and adherence to the Spill Contingency Plan was less than desirable and this blatant disregard by the permittee and contractor (Boart Longyear) will not be tolerated during future land use operations.”
Violations of the permit documented in the report include a general failure to keep the work area clean and a failure to properly contain and dispose of drilling waste. The report also documents in writing and with photos hydraulic fluid that was not properly disposed of.
“Since hydraulic fluid is visible on ice and snow, the inspector cannot understand how it was missed by the permittee and contractor,” the report reads.
The permittee and contractor’s failure to report these spills was also noted.
Following discussions with the permittee, a spill report is being prepared, as well as a report documenting the cleanup of each of the 19 sites, according to Ambrose’s documentation.
“It is anticipated that the report will contain before and after photographs of each site and clearly demonstrate that a thorough cleanup has been conducted and compliance with operating conditions achieved,” the report reads.
The document concludes by warning that anyone who violates either a permit or the order of an inspector can be fined up to $100,000 or spend up to six months in jail for a first offence.
“The permittee’s cooperation to immediately address the inspector’s concerns is anticipated and this cooperation is appreciated,” the report states.
Neither Ambrose nor Campbell responded to a request for comment in time for publication. A spokesperson for Boart Longyear also did not respond to a request in time for publication.
It appears this issue has been resolved. Onwards and upwards!