As someone whose ancestors have a history in mining that goes back centuries, and as a partner in one of the first environmental companies in Yukon’s history, I am writing to commend the presentation provided by a representative of Kaminak Gold Corp at their most recent open house on April 20 in Whitehorse.
What caught my attention was information regarding the planning process for the selection of long-term (100+ years) storage location for waste rock and the permafrost conditions in those specific locations.
When the Kaminak presenter raised the matter of disturbance of permafrost as one of the many factors considered in the waste rock storage site selection process of that site, I was reminded of the impacts to land I had witnessed while working for the Yukon’s government Department of Highways on the reconstruction of the Dempster Highway in the early 1980s.
More recently, work on a number of global climate change initiatives highlighted “new” and varying impacts to land and life as a result of the movement of permafrost as the North is warming (e.g. housing foundation disturbance, habitat and freshwater lake loss). It is hard to believe that just a few decades could bring such massive changes to our understanding of our environment, and how global climate change will affect future industries.
I am impressed to hear that Kaminak retains the services of a climate change scientist through local firms who are assisting with the examination of the long-term impacts of climate change and intergenerational effects to site conditions. This is what I consider to be an exceptional example of leading-edge science and mine development from today’s responsible mining companies.
With this kind of a modern, progressive and environmentally-conscious approach in action throughout Yukon, mining companies operating here can expect to gain a world-class reputation for ethical mining practices, and the mining industry as a whole will profit as it comes out of the industrial age and moves into the next century with new science and technology.