Wolverine aims to open in 2010

Recession be damned, Yukon Zinc Corp. is rushing towards completion of its Wolverine underground mine 180 kilometres southeast of Faro.

Recession be damned, Yukon Zinc Corp. is rushing towards completion of its Wolverine underground mine 180 kilometres southeast of Faro.

The company, which is privately held by two Chinese firms, hopes to have its underground mine built and in production by mid-2010.

Each day the mine is expected to churn out 1,700 tonnes of ore rich in zinc, silver, copper and lead.

The ore will be trucked to a port in Stewart, BC, and shipped to Asia.

Wolverine has 4.5 million tonnes of proven metal reserves. And the company believes there are another 1.7 million tonnes of metal buried there. It plans to keep the mine in operation for at least 10 years.

More than 100 Yukoners are now working at the site. Of that, about one-quarter are First Nation. The Kaska First Nation has signed a deal with the company to maximize employment of its members.

Once in production, the workforce is expected to grow to about 160.

A permanent camp has recently been completed onsite. Access roads and bridges have been built. And workers are preparing for mucking—removing the waste rock from underground—this spring.