Gold company and truck firm end contract

Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Fairbanks Gold Mining has canceled a gold ore hauling contract with Big State Industries. The cancellation comes one week after two early morning rollovers of ore-laden Big State trucks.

Both companies say it was a mutual agreement to terminate the contract.

''We both knew it was the right thing to do for everyone, for both companies,'' said Ruth Peterson, co-owner of Big State Industries.

Fairbanks Gold will take over responsibility for moving gold ore from its True North deposit to its Fort Knox processing mill.

Last Tuesday, a Big State truck carrying 60 tons of ore rolled to its side as the driver swerved to avoid a perceived soft spot in the mining company's private road.

It was the second such accident in six days. On May 9, on a different location on the same road, an ore trailer carrying two trailers filled with ore tipped to its side.

There were no injuries in either accident. Both companies are investigating the rollovers.

Irwin said the two companies' decision to terminate the contract was for business reasons and not specifically related to the rollovers.

Ore hauling operations have not been disrupted, said Tom Irwin, general manager of Fairbanks Gold.

The mine now employs 323 people, and the new tractor-trailer drivers will boost that up to 355, Irwin said. That's up from 260 employees last year at this time, he said.

Earlier this year, Fairbanks Gold received government permits to mine the anticipated 500,000 ounces of gold from its True North property 30 miles north of Fairbanks. True North is about 10 miles from Fairbanks Gold's gold processing mill and sister gold deposit called Fort Knox.

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