Signs outside Rushbrook Trail, a project being worked on by Bear Creek Contracting. The company announced June 6 that it’s taking owners of Brucejack Gold Mine to court for unpaid work. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Bear Creek takes Brucejack Mine to court for unpaid work worth $14.5M

Terrace-based company working on Highway 16 applies to Supreme Court asking for damages

A Terrace construction company has applied to the Supreme Court of B.C. to recoup millions of dollars in unpaid work done at Brucejack Gold Mine.

On June 6, Bear Creek Contracting Ltd. applied to the Supreme Court of B.C. and is asking for Pretium Resources, owner of the Brucejack Gold Mine and its general contractor, Rokstad Power, for $14.5 million for work done in 2016.

“The mine is up and running, and they’re out $14 million bucks at an enormously detrimental impact on the company to the point that its survival was in question,” Tanner Elton, a manager of community and government relations contracted by Bear Creek, said.

The construction company has also been working on the Rushbrook Trail in Prince Rupert and the passing lane at Rainbow Summit is short millions of dollars as a result of not receiving payment at Brucejack Gold Mine.

Bear Creek states in the press release that they built the transmission line tower base foundations to provide power for the Brucejack Mine.

The work was completed in September 2016, but Bear Creek alleges that several changes were made to the scope of work which added more time and costs to the project.

“The original plan was significantly altered. They had to move from what is called a pour and form approach to drill and blast, and when they uncovered the site, there were all types of problems. They had to move over 50 of the original 171 sites. There were environmental delays, other delays. All of which meant it was unlikely they were going to get it done in the season on the basis of the original contract,” Elton said.

He added that Pretium assured Bear Creek that it would be compensated and rewarded for accelerating the project.

Bear Creek is also asking for damages resulting from not being paid.

“It affected their ability to bond for projects. Bear Creek doesn’t have $14 million to contribute to the construction of a gold mine. They had to scramble. They’re in the process of selling off their helicopter company, they’ve had to reduce employment,” Elton said.

In the meantime, the Terrace-based company has been restoring the Rushbrook Trail in Prince Rupert and adding a two-kilometre passing lane on Highway 16 at Rainbow Summit — a project that was expected to be completed by the fall of 2017.

READ MORE: Passing lane at Rainbow Summit to be extended this summer

Five people who have worked on the Bruce Jack Mine project have submitted affidavits, and the application will be heard in late June.

More to come.



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

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