MGM Energy Corp. 2009 Summer Field Program
Alan Youell (NWT Archaeologist’s Permit 2009‐002)
On behalf of KAVIK‐AXYS Inc., as agents for MGM Energy Corp. (MGM Energy), FMA Heritage Inc. conducted archaeological investigations for three proposed drilling locations (150 metre X 150 metre well pads), two access road routes and a post‐impact assessment of the Southeast Ellice (J‐27) access route associated with the MGM Energy 2008 Summer Field Assessment and Advance Barge and Staging Project. The investigation is part of a larger program of biophysical study that is designed to assess potential future development locations. The specific purpose of the archaeological component of the MGM Energy 2009 Summer Field Assessment Program was to identify archaeological, historical and traditional land use sites at the proposed drilling and access route locations sites.
To conduct the assessment, archaeologist Alan Youell was assisted by wildlife monitors Rufus Tingmiak and Leonard Harry of Inuvik. Field reconnaissance consisted of a helicopter overflight, pedestrian traverse, surface examination and shovel testing to determine the presence of unrecorded archaeological or cultural sites. Shovel tests were excavated at the three proposed drilling locations.
The areas investigated during the archaeological assessment of the Program included the exploratory sweet natural gas drilling locations identified as Ogruknang B‐27, Ogruknang B‐28, and Ogruknang M‐57, as well as two proposed access routes and the existing Southeast Ellice (J‐27) access route. All potential new developments are located adjacent to the East Channel of the Mackenzie River, in the North Caribou Hills region. Investigation of the developments was conducted under Northwest Territories Class 2 Archaeologist’s Permit #2009‐002.
Two of the proposed drilling locations, Ogruknang B‐27 and Ogruknang B‐28, are located on a relatively active alluvial plain, associated with the East Channel of the Mackenzie River, and are subject to seasonal flooding. Continuous remodelling of the areas, combined with shallow sediments and underlying waterlogged and silty clays, contributed to an assessment of these locations having low potential for the identification of archaeological or cultural sites. The other proposed drilling location, Ogruknang M‐57, is located on a gently sloping hummocky upland area of the North Caribou Hills. This area is also relatively poorly drained with sediments consisting of moist clays intermixed with sparse gravel resulting in an assessment of this location as having low potential for the identification of archaeological or cultural sites. The two access routes were found to be located in drainage gullies, associated with the North Caribou Hills, supporting a seasonally dynamic stream environment. This environment resulted in an evaluation of low potential for the identification of archaeological or cultural sites. Surface inspection and shovel testing of the development footprints did not identify any archaeological, historic or traditional land use sites.
In additional, a post‐impact archaeological assessment of the Southeast Ellice (J‐27) access route was also conducted. Based on results of this assessment there are no conflicts between archaeological, historical and traditional land use sites and the previously utilized development area.
(Edited by Shelley Crouch, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre)