"there is no ice road yet into GK...the present road only goes as far as the Snap Lake mine....so even if the ice is thick enough there will not likely be any hauling into GK....."



From arlekino's great post of 1/15/13



The TCWR is a vital link for bulk supplies, equipment and personnel required for exploration and mine sites located in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut; namely De Beers Canada’s Snap Lake and Gahcho Kué mines; BHP Billiton Diamonds’ EKATI mine; and Diavik Diamonds’ Diavik mine.

Nuna's Role

Nuna is responsible for the TCWR's annual winter construction, maintenance, truck dispatching and traffic control, camp catering and summer camp maintenance. The success of the winter road takes a great deal of planning, experience, specialized equipment, unique manpower and cooperation from Mother Nature; given that 85% of the road comprises ice, sustained cold weather is required.

Nuna commences construction of the TCWR January of each year which entails the use of Nuna’s specialized early road opening equipment such as Hagglund amphibious track vehicles equipped with ground penetrating radar to determine ice thickness and light plow equipment; both supported by helicopter surveillance to report major ice cracks or pressure ridges ahead. Throughout the road season, Nuna uses plows, graders, water trucks, dozers, snow blowers and other specialized low ground pressure equipment to keep the road clear of snow in order to continually build up ice thickness and keep portages smooth. At various locations along the entire length of the road Nuna measures the lake ice thickness and determines allowable vehicle load weights. A typical season will see maximum full load weights of 32 metric tonnes on an ice plate of 40 inches (3 feet) thickness.


De Beers Canada Corporation & De Beers Canada Exploration Ltd. - Pioneered a Nodwell route into Nisha site. Constructed Snap Lake site access winter road. Completed Gahcho Kué route selection and constructed a 125 km ice road and 5,000 ft Hercules aircraft capable ice airstrip.