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Minto workers owed wages may be protected by government programs

Court-appointed receiver will contact employees who are owed money
Minto mine is seen near Pelly Crossing. (File Photo)

Information is being circulated for former employees of the recently-abandoned Minto mine who are trying to recover unpaid wages.

The mine, located north of Whitehorse on Selkirk First Nation settlement land, was abandoned by its operator Minto Metals Corp. in May. The territorial government promptly hired a contractor to take over the management of the site and ensure water treatment continued.

Staff and subcontractors were abruptly removed from the site as Minto was wrapping up operations.

A receiver has been appointed by the Supreme Court of British Columbia to take control of the mine’s assets. This role is being filled by PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. The receiver could potentially sell the mine and all its assets to a single purchaser if one can be found. It has been court ordered to sell ore concentrates and pass the money on to the territorial government.

How those with unpaid wages from the mine would be handled during the receivership process had remained an unanswered question. An Aug. 3 notice from the territorial government suggests they might have some recourse through the federal government’s Wage Earner Protection Program (WEPP).

Those who believe they are owed wages by Minto are being advised to contact PricewaterhouseCoopers Inc. by email at and to visit the WEPP page on as soon as possible. The government notice states the deadline to apply for protection under the program is Sept. 18.

Per the federal government website with information about the WEPP, salaries and commissions, as well as vacation, termination and severance pay, are all eligible wages that may be compensated for when the company that owes them goes bankrupt or enters receivership.

The Yukon government release notes the receiver is required to inform former employees if they are owed wages. They have begun collecting payroll records to identify those who are owed wages.

The notice from the Yukon government states the complaints process through the territorial government’s Employment Standards Office acts as a compliment to the WEPP. Complaints can be filed until Nov. 10 at or at 867-667-5944.

Court records in cases launched by companies and groups claiming Minto owes them money outline a total of more than $19 million allegedly outstanding. There’s also $42.2 million in liens registered against the mine by more than two dozen applicants.

-With files from Dana Hatherly

Contact Jim Elliot at

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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