Whitehorse Daily Star

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WOLVERINE MINE SITE – Approximately 200 people were laid off when the Wolverine Mine closed four years ago this month. Bankruptcy proceedings showed Yukon Zinc had lost more than $100 million in each of the three years it had been in production.

New mine owner sought low-profile transaction

The Yukon Zinc Corp. and its Wolverine Mine southeast of Ross River has been sold, a Yukon Zinc spokesman confirmed this morning.

By Chuck Tobin on January 7, 2019

The Yukon Zinc Corp. and its Wolverine Mine southeast of Ross River has been sold, a Yukon Zinc spokesman confirmed this morning.

Alex Wu told Star the sale to Phoenix Global Investments was finalized in late November.

Phoenix Global wanted the sale to remain low-profile, Wu said.

“We are still in transition right now with the new ownership, and a lot of things have not been decided,” Wu said.

“So there is limited information I can share, but I can tell you it is another private group that has acquired the company.

“It is simply a change in ownership. It is no longer owned by the state-owned company of China.”

The Star was unable to contact representatives of Phoenix Global this morning.

The company was formed in 2016, with a goal of becoming a public company to attract investment to finance its expansion plans in North America, according to its website.

The website notes Phoenix Global has also signed a service agreement with another state-owned Chinese company.

Sue Thomas of the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources said this morning department officials are arranging a meeting with the new owner to learn more about their plans.

The session will provide officials with the opportunity to inform Phoenix Global about regulatory requirements and the compliance status at the Wolverine Mine, said the spokeswoman.

Thomas said the new owner will be responsible for posting the required financial security, ensuring compliance and bringing the Wolverine Mine up to current requirements.

Yukon Zinc suspended mining operations in January 2015 because of financial problems.

It went through bankruptcy proceedings that resulted in many Yukon companies and companies from Outside receiving 11.5 cents for every dollar owed.

As a result of the shutdown, approximately 200 people were laid off.

Evidence put before the court during the bankruptcy proceedings showed Yukon Zinc had lost in excess of $100 million in each of the three years it had been in production.

Since the closure, the mine has been under care and maintenance.

Yukon Zinc, however, has faced challenges maintaining compliance with its mining licence and its water licence.

In October 2017, Yukon Zinc announced it was seeking new investment to restart production. The stated aim was to eventually transition to a publicly traded company.

Last October, during the fall sitting of the legislature, Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Ranj Pillai told the assembly negotiations had occurred between Yukon Zinc and another group regarding the sale of the mine.

“As of today, it looks like there’s a new owner who wants to restart and open the mine,” Pillai told the legislature.

Comments (9)

Up 10 Down 0

Jack on Jan 10, 2019 at 3:51 pm

Is this the same Phoenix Global Investments based out of Richmond, BC? Correct me if I am wrong but weren’t they under investigation for laundering money??

Up 27 Down 0

Jim McGill on Jan 9, 2019 at 8:46 am

I find it particularly offensive that a corporation owned by a foreign state (in this case, The Peoples Republic of China) was allowed to claim bankruptcy resulting in local Canadian businesses being paid only 11 cents on the dollar. It is scandalous. The PRC should have honored the debts of its 100% owned company.

Up 16 Down 5

YT on Jan 9, 2019 at 8:06 am

Besides a review via YESAB, I’d like to see a mines economic viability reviewed. That is, does this mine make sense? Can it make a go of it?
We really don’t need marginal mines popping up and disappearing with the resultant economic mess and environmental burden on the government.

Up 18 Down 16

Paul on Jan 8, 2019 at 3:11 pm

The Yukon is dreaming if it thinks it will ever get a mine up again with all the red tape and social mobsters. Numerous stalled projects exist and numerous foreign companies have put tens of millions into each project only to be told to get stuffed at permitting time. It's a one-way street in Muriburiland. At least you can all smoke pot to while away the hours!

Up 42 Down 0

Scott on Jan 8, 2019 at 10:46 am

This is what I understand. Yukon Zinc, a company wholly owned by the Chinese Government, is sold to a Chinese real estate company in Richmond BC, Phoenix Global Investments Inc, that only invests in retail properties. This company, in turn, is partners with Jiangsu Hanrui Investment Holdings out of China. Jiangsu is listed as a private company, but it is just a renamed Zhenjiang New Area Economic Development Corporation, which was a Chinese Government Corporation and was spun off to friends of the communist party as a gift. So the Chinese government sold its own company to itself through a number of shell companies. This does not look like a feel good story.

Up 15 Down 10

Chris Sugden on Jan 7, 2019 at 8:24 pm

Hopefully this generates some local jobs and a little boost to local economy.

Up 26 Down 1

jake on Jan 7, 2019 at 7:22 pm

As long as Canada remains lax on it's regulations on who owns Canadians resources we will always go through this circus of shady investors that invest little and get much by fleecing those that are willing to deal with them. Truth is this is Global and it is backed by state run organizations that are looking for hard currency to fund other questionable endeavours.

Up 24 Down 2

PedroFerrero on Jan 7, 2019 at 6:46 pm

‘Losses ... in excess of $100 million every year it was in existence’. Just read that sentence out loud . If you can . I challenge you . Seriously, I don’t think that there is a lavatory in existence, if thoroughly plumbed in, that could flush hundred dollar bills for twelve hours a day, seven days a week for each year that the mine was in production. Staggering mismanagement.

Up 29 Down 1

and everyone that was burned gets paid from the money Pheonix on Jan 7, 2019 at 3:16 pm

is giving to YZ ?

oh, wait, no.

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