For those who saw it from the shore it was simply a barge filled with equipment, but for Highbank Resources the vessel departing the Prince Rupert harbour on June 27 marked a major turning point for its Swamp Point North aggregate project.
On board the barge was the first load of equipment and supplies destined for the site 160 kilometres north of Prince Rupert that will begin opening up the site and preparing a work camp for the projects. Included on the ship was a D5 Cat, an excavator with various attachments, a rock truck, a 5,000 gallon fuel tank and an Atco trailer complete with a dry room, showers, a washroom and laundry facility.
The equipment will be met at the site by a six-person crew traveling to the location from Stewart, with the equipment offloaded on Friday afternoon.
For Highbank Resources president and CEO Victory Bryant, the departure of the barge and the beginning of site preparation has been eight-years in the making.
“It’s been a long, hard road. The former owner took us to court and we successfully fought that, but raising funds in the current market is difficult,” he said.
The Swamp Point project includes more than 71 million tonnes of sand and gravel aggregate that the company plans to ship to Prince Rupert for sale and distribution along the coast to support construction of major projects from B.C. to California. Going through Prince Rupert also creates the option to access Asian markets as needed, said the company.
“Our timing for coming online is just about right as LNG firms get ready to move their projects forward,” said Bryant.