Mining company Goldcorp has resubmitted plans for its Coffee mine south of Dawson City since the project was halted last year by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board last year. (Submitted/Kaminak Gold Corp.)

The week in Yukon mining

Goldcorp re-submits Coffee plans, Mount Nansen sale looms, Kudz Ze Kayah comments open

Mining company Goldcorp has resubmitted its plans for a mine south of Dawson City.

The assessment of the Coffee mine project was halted by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board last year after the board decided the mining company hadn’t consulted enough with four Yukon First Nations.

No one from Goldcorp was available to comment, but in a statement the company says it’s confident its consultation process has been “robust.”

“Goldcorp’s consultation process was met with participation by First Nations and communities, who raised a number of questions and concerns.”

The company says as a result of the consultations it has made improvements to its water quality monitoring programs, done an analysis of proposed road routes and committed to multiple future studies.

Last July the board stopped the assessment process after it found problems with the consultation process with the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and Selkirk First Nations.

It also stated Goldcorp had completely failed to consult with the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyak Dun and that “consultation with the NND did not occur in any substantive manner prior to submission.”

The White River First Nation said it had not been consulted during the process.

No one from any of the four First Nations could be reached for comment.

In a letter dated Dec. 19, 2017, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation Chief Roberta Joseph said she believes that in the case of TH there has been enough consultation for the project to move on to the adequacy review and then screening phases.

“Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in remains committed to working collaboratively with Goldcorp and Kaminak to ensure that the appropriate environmental mitigations and safeguards will be put in place in respect of the project,” the letter says.

“We are confident that any remaining concerns … will be adequately addressed during the next phases of the environmental assessment process under YESAA and that it’s more appropriate that those concerns be addressed during those phases.”

The assessment board will now decide if the new application is adequate before beginning the actual environmental assessment process.

Public comment period begins for proposed mine near Ross River

The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board has opened the public comment period for the Kudz Ze Kayah project 115 kilometres southwest of Ross River.

Public comments will be accepted until March 1.

BMC Minerals wants to build an open pit and underground copper, lead, zinc, silver and gold mine with a mine life of at least 10 years.

“During 2018 and 2019 the company will work with the Yukon regulatory bodies to expeditiously complete the YESAB Screening process and subsequently a Yukon Water Board review for a Type A water licence,” BMC said in a statement.

If everything goes as planned, early construction activities could start in 2019 with the first production of saleable copper, lead and zinc concentrates to start in mid-2021.

Comments can be submitted through the YESAB online registry or by contacting the YESAB head office.

Work continues on sale of Mount Nansen site

The federal Indigenous and Northern Affairs department expects to finalize the sale of the defunct Mount Nansen mine site in late 2018 or early 2019.

The site, 60 kilometres west of Carmacks, was approved for sale in 2016. The federal government has been looking for a company to move all of the tailings and contaminated soil from the site into the mine’s open pit which would then be sealed.

Currently three groups of companies are on the shortlist for the job, according to PriceWaterhouseCooper, which is managing the sale.

The three groups are led by Pelly Construction, Alexco Environmental Group Inc. and Morgan Construction & Environmental Ltd.

The deadline for those companies to get their completed proposals in was extended this week to March 2, according to the PriceWaterhouseCooper website.

The Yukon government took over care and maintenance of the Mount Nansen site in 2012. INAC is responsible for providing the funding.

The tender for the latest care and maintenance contract closed earlier this month. Unlike previous contracts that have been for three years, this latest contract is only slated to last for one year, starting April 1.

So far the Yukon government is not saying how much the lowest bid was. That number won’t be released until the government finishes reviewing the technical components of the bids, said Department of Energy, Mines and Resources spokesperson Brigitte Parker.

Once the mine site is sold, the purchaser will take over care and maintenance, said INAC spokesperson Marie-Louise Boylan in an email.

“The sale process will not affect the care and maintenance contract, which the Government of Yukon is currently procuring, since the sale is not expected to be finalized before the end of that contract,” she said.

The Mount Nansen site is one of four abandoned mine sites in the Yukon for which the federal and territorial governments are responsible.

Contact Ashley Joannou at ashleyj@yukon-news.com

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