Giving it away

Giving it away Yukon taxpayers should be aware of the placer royalties paid in the Dawson mining district for the period April 1st to November 20th 2009. Approximately 47,500 ounces of raw gold was exported from this region. Now that gold is part of the

Yukon taxpayers should be aware of the placer royalties paid in the Dawson mining district for the period April 1st to November 20th 2009.

Approximately 47,500 ounces of raw gold was exported from this region.

Now that gold is part of the Yukon’s resources and, as such, royalties have to be paid on it.

These royalties are part of what should pay to keep the Yukon government going, and all the services it provides from schools to hospitals to roads.

After all, the Yukon cannot be dependent on transfer payments from Ottawa forever. The whole point behind most economic activity is to be fiscally self sufficient.

Thanks to the Yukon Placer Act it is easy to determine what the placer royalties are.

It states, in part, “There shall be levied and collected on all gold shipped from the Yukon a royalty at the rate of two and one-half per cent of its value.”

It then further states that “the gold for the purpose of estimating that royalty shall be valued at $15 per ounce.”

Assuming an approximate average value of gold of a thousand dollars per ounce for the past summer, and assuming raw gold is only about 85 per cent pure, it means about $40 million worth of gold was exported from the Dawson mining district.

But the royalty isn’t paid on the real-world $1,000 an ounce value. Instead, thanks to the placer act, it is paid on the $15 an ounce value.

The Yukon received under $18,000 in royalties for that $40 million worth of gold.

Talk about giving it away.

Lewis Rifkind, mining co-ordinator, Yukon Conservation Society

Whitehorse