This letter is in response to the Nov. 18 commentary by the Yukon Conservation Society’s mining analyst, Lewis Rifkind, titled “A mine that environmentalists like.”
In his commentary, Mr. Rifkind concluded that the Selwyn project is a “complete non-starter” and an “environmental horror show.” Considering that Mr. Rifkind acknowledges that the mine plans are still in development, his comments are both perplexing and misleading in nature.
Yukon has established a regulatory process that is intended to protect the environment while supporting the best social and economic outcomes for all Yukoners.
In seeking project approval, the Selwyn project will go through this rigorous process. YESAB and the Yukon Water Board will consider the environmental and socio-economic effects of our project. First Nations, the general public, interests groups, businesses and others will have meaningful opportunities to participate and voice their interests and concerns.
Their feedback and continued analysis during this process will further inform the mine plan so that it will meet all environmental criteria while providing progressive socio-economic benefits to Yukon. Nonetheless, before we even enter this process, we are working diligently toward developing a plan that will be recognized as environmentally responsible and socially acceptable, we are “the one to watch” for all the right reasons.
We may even satisfy those that seem to have to swallow hard when professing that they are not really anti-mining. Our relationship agreement with the Kaska, our $250 million investment to date, and our ongoing developmental work are demonstrations of our commitment to doing it right.
Mr. Rifkind states that “all YCS asks is that mining be done right and in socially and environmentally acceptable areas.” All we are asking is that YCS takes a fair and reasoned position rooted in facts, and allow the regulatory process to do what is was designed to do – foster responsible development in Yukon.
Richard (Shilin) Li
Chief Executive Officer
Selwyn Chihong Mining