North: N.W.T. gold mining project encouraged by Tłı̨chǫ Highway opening – by Herb Mathisen (CBC News North – December 30, 2021)

CEO of Nighthawk Gold project near Wekweètì, N.W.T. calls Tłı̨chǫ Highway a “smart investment”

When the Tłı̨chǫ Highway officially opened on Nov. 30, Fortune Minerals wasn’t the only mining company applauding the new road. Nighthawk Gold is currently advancing its Colomac Gold project, roughly 120 kilometres northeast of Whatì.

The new all-season highway, also called N.W.T. Highway 9, goes about halfway to Colomac. From a turnoff near the community of Whatì, a winter road goes the rest of the way. The seasonal road passes through Nighthawk’s 930-square-kilometre exploration property, before ending in Wekweètì.

The highway should lengthen the season of the winter roads to Gamètì and Wekweètì, as well as Nighthawk’s project. That’s because crews don’t have to build the southern stretch of winter road anymore, as it was made redundant by the all-season highway.

‘A smart investment’

Keyvan Salehi, Nighthawk Gold’s CEO, called the 97-kilometre Tłı̨chǫ Highway “a smart investment” by governments. The territorial government funded 75 per cent of the $185-million, two-lane gravel highway, with the federal government paying for the rest.

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