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Ed Peart

Mining strategy sets out major ramifications

The draft Yukon Mineral Development Strategy, released Dec. 28 after 16 months of work, is wide-sweeping with recommendations that reverberate right through the Yukon’s mining and exploration industry.

By Chuck Tobin on January 11, 2021

The draft Yukon Mineral Development Strategy, released Dec. 28 after 16 months of work, is wide-sweeping with recommendations that reverberate right through the Yukon’s mining and exploration industry.

It calls for rewriting both the Quartz Mining Act and the Yukon Placer Mining Act.

The strategy recommends a much greater role in oversight of the industry by Yukon First Nations, and greater procurement opportunities for First Nations. It recommends greater opportunities for First Nations to gain equity in mining projects.

It suggests an overhaul of the collection resource revenue royalties.

The strategy recommends the promotion of mining in the territory be transferred from the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources to Economic Development to eliminate any perception of conflict of interest.

It recommends greater efforts in the classroom to educate Yukoners on the benefits of mining, to offset the negative legacies left behind by the industry in the past.

The 40-page document contains eight encompassing recommendations, with dozens of sub-recommendations to achieve the eight primary recommendations.

The panel of three who produced the strategy have set Feb. 22 as the deadline to provide comments on its recommendations.

Ed Peart, the president of the Yukon Chamber of Mines, said in an interview this morning the strategy is an important document that deserves a thorough analysis, and the chamber intends to do that in preparation of its feedback.

“This is an important document, it is a big document and deserves the analysis really, and the chamber of mines is going to do that,” Peart said.

He said there are many aspects and implications of the recommendations that need greater scrutiny.

There are some red flags, such as rewriting the two major pieces of legislation that guide the territory’s mining industry by the end of 2023, he said.

Peart noted the emphasis on the relationship between the industry and First Nations is of great importance, though he also emphasized how the three operating mines in the territory have already gone above and beyond in that regard.

Victoria Gold has established a solid partnership with the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun regarding its Eagle Gold Mine north of Mayo, particularly in these days of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

Peart said the same can be said about Alexco Resource and its Keno Hill silver operation, and about Pembridge Resources and its Minto Mine in the traditional territory of the Selkirk First Nation.

“These recommendations, we have to understand just what all of this means, and the Yukon government wants to understand and the industry wants to understand what it means,” he said. “Every recommendation will get analyzed, certainly, and we will do what we need to do.

“I think it is important to know that this document has the potential to have a real impact on the way we do mining in the territory.”

Mining, said Peart, is a primary driver in the Yukon’s economy, as is being evidenced during the pandemic.

There has to be balance, and the Yukon is the best place in the world to advance that balance, he said.

Peart said he would encourage all of the chamber’s members to read the document and provide their comments.

The chamber is there to assist if any assistance is needed, he said.

The foundation for the panel’s work was created in 2017 with the Mining Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Yukon government and the Council of Yukon First Nations.

The panel was appointed in April 2019 to guide the development of a Yukon Mineral Development Strategy.

The panel was chaired by Angus Robertson, a former Yukon government deputy minister.

Also appointed to the panel was Math’ieya Alatini, former chief of the Kluane First Nation, and Doug Eaton, a geologist with extensive experience working in the Yukon.

The strategy points out the total value of mineral production in the Yukon over the period 1988 to 2018 ranged from a low of $34 million in 2003, to a high of $542 million in 1989, and averaged $256 million per year.

See letter.

Comments (23)

Up 20 Down 10

DONOVAN on Jan 15, 2021 at 11:08 am

Just like the American Affirmative Action in the 80's....hold down one to raise another. Didn't work then and won't work now.

Up 33 Down 4

Northerner on Jan 14, 2021 at 8:05 pm

@Nathan Living, your comment shows such a blatant NIMBY attitude to the point of being truly disturbing. The obvious question of course is "If not here, then where?" A third world country with a 10 year old labourer handling the mercury?

And surely you don't believe that tourism alone could pay the bills? That would require so many tourists, it would be the death knell of the wilderness. Certainly nothing would be "pristine"...and the whole Yukon you say?

Every trail you visited would have other people. Every "trailhead" would have a parking lot of cars. Every "viewpoint" would have other people with their selfie sticks. Every river trip would have other canoeists. Every hill with stairs. Every camping spot occupied, or littered, or shat upon (sure, they just need education. Or rules).

What a circus it would become. If this is your idea or dream of perfection, then you are surely the clown.

Up 12 Down 4

Naturelover on Jan 14, 2021 at 5:49 pm

What would the tourists do?
Trot around the bogs?

Up 28 Down 7

Groucho d'North on Jan 14, 2021 at 4:39 pm

The COVID pandemic has clearly demonstrated how fragile our economic health really is. Tourism is dying a slow death with disasterous impacts on Yukon's GDP.
Making mining more difficult (see more regulations and flaming hoops) and it too will not perform well enough to keep our economy going. Anybody around for the last shutdown of the Faro mine will remember the exodus of people out of the territory, which some are hoping will happen again I'm told.
If the Acts are to be rewritten I hope the attitudes of their crafting are not designed to impede new mining operations from being honestly and fairly considered.
First Nation members may vote for Yukon's political leadership, while most Yukoners do not get a vote in electing the First Nations political leaders -perhaps it is time for that as both sides it seems will be crafting the new laws for us to abide by? How will democracy be protected?

Up 6 Down 2

Zelmo on Jan 14, 2021 at 3:01 pm

Download and have a read of the strategy and recommendations!

Up 13 Down 51

Nathan Living on Jan 14, 2021 at 12:15 pm

I could live with no mines in the Yukon.
One big park for the world. Tourism would pay the bills.

Up 35 Down 10

George Orwell on Jan 13, 2021 at 2:55 pm

Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others.

Up 38 Down 19

Anie on Jan 13, 2021 at 2:37 pm

Peter Mather, I don't see racism here. I see people respecting the UFA, and disagreeing with proposed changes that would go beyond the UFA. We seem to be reaching a point where any disagreement with anything related to FN immediately results in allegations of racism. How about we save that word for the very serious situations where it is accurate.

Up 11 Down 22

Patti Eyre on Jan 13, 2021 at 11:30 am

I must say @my opinion, you don’t want raced based policies when you don’t benefit but when you do benefit you clam up.

Up 16 Down 38

EJ on Jan 12, 2021 at 9:39 pm

@Yoduh If you don't want mining in the territory, vote for the Yukon Party. Every proposed development will be stuck in court for years as they try to run roughshod over First Nation rights just as they did with Currie Dixon's infamous Peel Plan.

Up 55 Down 13

Salt on Jan 12, 2021 at 9:03 pm

It’s quite clever, how our current globalist leaders are using the Native governments to push forward their totalitarian objectives. The Native government model is already very centralized, hierarchical, and dependant. Which is where they want all of us. What was the point of the Umbrella Final Agreement if the Yukon is going to continue to cede control over its land piece by piece? Hunting is next. It won’t end.

Up 12 Down 16

Sheepchaser on Jan 12, 2021 at 4:43 pm

Hopefully, the recommendations are followed in regards to the rightful land owners being in greater control of the destiny of that land. Respecting title and tradition is the only way forward. Private enterprise and ownership is an essential part of motivation. When building capacity and innovating efficiency puts more cash directly in your pocket, it’s worth learning about how. Potential investors need reliability and predictable execution with legislation that develops a stable pathway for cooperative investment leading to profits for all, not the few.

Up 17 Down 59

Nathan Living on Jan 12, 2021 at 3:27 pm

Race based opportunities for first nation people is not a bad thing.
Mining has to smarten up and protect water and bogs etc.

You simply cannot tear up an entire claim area.

Up 57 Down 11

Naturelover on Jan 12, 2021 at 10:29 am

We must be careful not to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs ( The Yukon mining industry).
It's replacement will be a communist bird that lives on slave labour. (Siberian salt mines).

Up 38 Down 65

Peter Mather on Jan 12, 2021 at 9:37 am

The racism in these posts is ridiculous. So stupid. The concept that First Nations should have more say, and reap some benefits, for mining that occurs on the land they have lived on for thousands of years is pretty reasonable. We have had race based policies, since the beginning of time. It is just, those policies have always favoured western cultures. Someone makes some changes to balance things fairly, and the snowflakes can't handle it. I've got to say, the world's biggest snowflakes tend to be people who look like me. Old White dudes.

Up 56 Down 16

Yoduh on Jan 12, 2021 at 5:01 am

Do you want mining equity in the Yukon?
Answer; never vote Liberal again.

Up 53 Down 14

Groucho d'North on Jan 11, 2021 at 5:07 pm

I would like any Liberal brave enough to speak up, to explain how they hope to achieve racial equality by slanting things in the first nations favor: or is it just more vote buying?

the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities:

Up 19 Down 7

Sheepchaser on Jan 11, 2021 at 4:55 pm

Conflict of interest, you say? Don’t think anyone would ever accuse EMR of being a tad swampy. No way!
Lands Branch records are still on paper to help govvy peeps hide their self enrichment?!? Get out! Hogwash!

Oh shoot, there goes a plastic bag on the wind!!! Nothing to see here.

Up 48 Down 16

JC on Jan 11, 2021 at 4:22 pm

Soon, if the FN have their way, one won't even be allowed to pan in a creek for sport and enjoyment. Sure glad I'm not part of this new millennial generation. Had my fun back in the good old days.

Up 36 Down 5

Jim on Jan 11, 2021 at 4:00 pm

Much like their procurement legislation, there will be plenty to lose and only one sector benefiting. I’m sure there was about the same consultation on both, none.

Up 97 Down 23

Matthew on Jan 11, 2021 at 2:26 pm

"The strategy recommends a much greater role in oversight of the industry by Yukon First Nations, and greater procurement opportunities for First Nations. It recommends greater opportunities for First Nations to gain equity in mining projects."
So that's the end of mining then... to say that first nations are already fully funded by the government how much more do they actually want? What do they actually contribute? Please educate me on this matter.

Up 109 Down 23

My Opinion on Jan 11, 2021 at 2:21 pm

If First Nations want involvement in Mining then spend your money and go mining.
"It recommends greater opportunities for First Nations to gain equity in mining projects." First Nations have vast tracks of land that they have chosen in mineral rich areas. They have vast amounts of money. Endless Federal support. Training support for their citizens. Get out and do something and quit just trying to ride on the coat tails of others.

As for the Government, stop with the Race based Policies. This will lead to no good.

Up 94 Down 23

My Opinion on Jan 11, 2021 at 2:13 pm

More Race based policy. This has to stop.

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