Rio Tinto and First Nations celebrate launch of tl'ughus tunnel boring machine
Rio Tinto with the Cheslatta Carrier and Haisla First Nations, celebrated launch of tl'ughus tunnel boring machine, a key milestone in completing the Kemano Second Tunnel project.
The machine will dig 7.6 kilometres of tunnel through a mountain as part of a $600 million project to enhance the long-term security of a clean power supply for the BC Works aluminium smelter in Kitimat, British Columbia.
"Launching the tl'ughus in partnership with the Cheslatta Carrier and Haisla Nations is an important milestone for our world class aluminium operations in British Columbia. Our smelter in Kitimat produces some of the world's lowest carbon aluminium and this project will enhance the long-term security of its supply of clean, renewable hydropower," said Gervais Jacques, managing director Atlantic Operations, Rio Tinto Aluminium.
The 1,300-tonne machine was named by the Cheslatta Carrier nation after a legendary giant monster snake and is decorated with artwork by Haisla Nations students.
“We want to thank all of our partners who are supporting this important project – from our employees, to contractors, First Nations, government and community members. It will ensure our operations continue to make a significant contribution to British Columbia's economy into the future," said Gareth Manderson, GM, BC Works.