Golden Predator snares Livingstone

Golden Predator Corporation caused a stir earlier this year when it cleaned out the Yukon Mining Recorder's office of staking tags. Now we know where the Vancouver-based company put a good chunk of them to use.

Golden Predator Corporation caused a stir earlier this year when it cleaned out the Yukon Mining Recorder’s office of staking tags.

Now we know where the Vancouver-based company put a good chunk of them to use.

It’s staked the entire Livingstone Creek district near Whitehorse, making 7,200 claims over an area that covers 1,500 square kilometres.

The area is second only to the Klondike as a source of placer gold, said CEO William Sheriff. Yet it hasn’t attracted much interest from miners to date in the Yukon’s modern gold rush.

“Quite frankly, it’s a place that’s been overlooked. There’s been staking activity everywhere else in the territory, but they’ve kind of bypassed that area. And, with its relatively rich history of placer mining, that’s kind of surprising.”

Creeks within the district have reported production of over 50,000 ounces of placer gold since 1900, according to the company. That includes spectacular, “fist-sized” nuggets, said Sheriff.

Glaciers once covered Livingstone, and conventional wisdom holds that these ice sheets scraped away the motherlode, leaving only traces in the creek beds. Golden Predator is betting this standing theory is wrong.

“I think that’s been reasonably well refuted in the Dawson area,” said Sheriff. “Glaciers moved it around, but you don’t get the kind of gold they’ve got moving very far. It’s near its source.”

The Yukon Geological Survey released new data earlier this year that suggested the district had promising geology for hardrock gold, said Sheriff.

Golden Predator is in an enviable position to act on such data, having recently scooped up the survey’s former chief geologist, Mike Burke, to help run their operations.

But the company’s interest in Livingstone predates both the hiring of Burke and the latest tantalizing data, said Sheriff.

“It was the first place Golden Predator had a claim, when we first came up three years ago.”

It helps that Livingstone is less remote than many of the territory’s hotbeds of mining. The company’s claims are located between 45 and 140 kilometres northeast of Whitehorse.

Livingstone is accessible by a winter road from Lake Laberge, but much of Golden Predator’s work will be done sufficiently far away to require helicopter support.

The company’s focused this season on sampling the area’s soils and stream sediments. Drill work likely won’t begin until the summer of 2013, said Sheriff.

Miners have sought shiny metal at Livingstone Creek since the original Klondike Gold Rush. By the turn of the 20th century, Livingstone’s population reached as high as 100 people, and the camp boasted four roadhouses and an RCMP post, according to historian Michael Gates.

Golden Predator’s flagship property is Brewery Creek, south of Dawson City. The company envisions itself opening the territory’s next gold mine at the property.

To do so, it will need to beat Victoria Gold Corporation’s plans to open its Eagle mine near Mayo by 2014.

Golden Predator hasn’t yet submitted a project proposal to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board. But it already has many permits in place to operate on parts of the property, from when previous owners operated an open-pit, heap-leach gold mine from 1997 to 2001.

Since 2009, Golden Predator has been poking holes in the ground surrounding the existing mine site to shore up its suspicion that there’s more yellow metal near the surface.

And Golden Predator has many other properties, spread from the Selwyn Basin near the Northwest Territories border, to areas north of Dawson City near the Alaskan border.

The company says it now controls more mineral claims than anyone else in the Yukon.

In all, Golden Predator has staked 5,700 square kilometres in the territory. That’s a swath of land bigger than Prince Edward Island.

The company spent $15.5 million on exploration in the territory last year. This year’s exploration budget is $20 million. And next year’s spending is expected to grow even more, said Sheriff.

Golden Predator employs more than 40 workers who live in the Yukon, he said.

And the company’s exploration work is focused exclusively in the Yukon, although it receives close to $1 million annually from royalties and lease payments in Nevada.

The CEO claims he has no interest of following the typical path of a mining junior, which is to work up a claim sufficiently enough to persuade a major gold producer to buy it out. Sheriff says he wants to see the company grow and remain in the Yukon.

“We plan on being around for a long time.”

Contact John Thompson at

johnt@yukon-news.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

d
Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

g
Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read