A construction company with ties to Grand Forks held a public consultation last week about its proposed gravel mine on the North Fork of the Granby River.
Around 20 area residents attended the meeting, held via Zoom Wednesday evening, Jan. 13, according to Derek Holmes, a consultant for Terus Construction, which owns Grand Forks’ Selkirk Paving, Ltd. Terus hosted the meeting in preparation for its application for a license of occupation at Volcanic Creek (File No. 4405975), a forest ministry spokesperson told The Gazette.
The area is rich in high quality sand and gravel that can be used to make asphalt and road base in Grand Forks, said Terus’s aggregate resource manager, Tyson Craiggs.
Craiggs explained that the proposed mine would occupy around five hectares of Crown land within the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s Area D, roughly 15 kilometres north of Grand Forks. The mine would provide around 9,500 tonnes of sand and gravel per year for Selkirk Paving’s asphalt plant in the city, Craiggs explained.
Providing Selkirk Paving with locally extracted aggregate would significantly reduce carbon emissions by trucks that deliver Selkirk’s raw materials. This would make Selkirk’s products cheaper to consumers, he said, because the price of aggregate is largely driven by trucking costs.
“Selkirk paving is a big part of the community in Grand Forks and the sustainability of that business relies on a good source of aggregate,” he said Friday, Jan. 15.
The prospective gravel mine “is not expected to have any environmental and/or socio-community impacts given its relatively small size and/or location,” according to an investigative plan Terus submitted to the forest ministry last March. The plan says that Terus would operate the Volcanic Creek mine in compliance with the provincial Mines Act, following plans to mitigate noise and dust and to guard against fuel spills during operation between the months of April and November. The plan does not include an environmental assessment, Craiggs said, because the ministry does not require one from operations extracting less than 450,000 tons of aggregated per year — roughly four times the annual tonnage Terus plans to take out of Volcanic Creek.
“We’ve got a solid plan in place,” Craiggs said, adding, “The residents should feel comfort that it’s coming from Selkirk Paving and Terus.”
The forest ministry will accept public feedback on its Crown applications website after Terus files its application, the ministry told The Gazette.