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Fairbanks DOT and Kinross Alaska hold community forum for ore transportation plan

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 4:20 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Department of Transportation and Kinross Alaska held a community forum this week to address concerns over a proposed ore transportation plan.

According to Anna Atchison, External Affairs Manager for Kinross Alaska, the proposed plan involves the transportation of ore from the Mahn Choh mine in Tok to Fort Knox Mill north of Fairbanks, with trucks operating 24/7.

“There would be two to four legal trucks, similar to the ones you would see delivering daily to Fort Knox currently,” Atchison explained. “Two to four of those trucks would be delivering per hour, coming from the Mahn Choh project up to Fort Knox and then back. So there will be two to four coming from each direction within the hour.”

This proposed plan has raised concerns from community members. At the meeting, one issue raised was the impact that trucks would have on day-to-day life along the road, including the potential for an increase in noise.

“We are in the planning phase right now,” Atchison elaborated, “and part of that planning is a whole series of studies regarding impacts that people might be concerned about. We did conduct an extensive noise survey along the route, and along that route, of which we had 19 points, we were able to model 400 locations. The noise factor was determined to be just perceptible.”

Arguably the largest unease was over the potential safety hazards from the trucks traveling across the road 24/7. According to Atchison, Kinross will be taking every precaution for road safety. “There’s purpose-built, designed equipment focused completely on road safety. So we’re talking about real time driving monitoring... incorporating cameras and fatigue management systems. The loads will be covered to minimize dust and to alleviate other concerns as well. Then, of course, drivers will be driving to conditions, including... we’ve committed to slowing or stopping operations if needed.”

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