The Kalum Quarry owned and operated by Kitsumkalum First Nation is nearing its first year of being in full swing operations.
Terry Bennett, economic development officer for the Kitsumkalum First Nation, said the quarry spent the last year gearing up for full operations.
Bennett is confident of the long term economic benefit this project will continue to have for the Kitsumkalum community, since there is a seemingly endless supply of high quality rock.
The quarry, located just north of the Kitsumkalum community, produces various rock products including ballast for its long term contract with Canadian National, gravel for local sale, sub ballast for construction and highways, and rip rap placed on river banks and used most commonly for flood prevention and mitigation.
The quarry has two rail spurs, installed to meet a long term contract with CN.
They frame either side of their work yard with a single rail line connecting to CN’s main line at Hwy16 adjacent to the Kitsumkalum-owned Tempo gas bar.
This set-up allows workers to load rail cars from either side of the work yard.
The line was officially opened in January.
The long term contract with CN is set for 20 years, and is renegotiable after.
In addition to providing rocks for the inside of the train tracks, heavy equipment for the Long Lake hydro-electric project located near Stewart was unloaded using the quarry’s spur.
White Bear Industries Limited and Wayne Hansen Construction Limited are contracted by Kalum Quarry to conduct the rock crushing and drilling, while the quarry itself employs nine workers.
“It’s a good project,” said Kitsumkalum Chief Councillor Don Roberts.
There’s also room for expansion thanks to the Kitsumkalum First Nation’s approval of a land claims agreement in principle with the provincial and federal governments earlier this year.
Following approval in a vote held earlier this year, the provincial government signed over a section of land adjacent to the quarry location which contains marketable material.
NOTE: This story has been changed to reflect accurate information concerning the use of the quarry’s spur line to unload heavy equipment for the Long Lake hydro-electric project.