The Association of Yukon Communities has drafted a resolution regarding mining within municipal boundaries.
The resolution, drafted at the association’s board meeting two weeks ago, will be discussed at their AGM in April.
A recent proposal to placer mine a section of the Dome in Dawson sparked the motivation for the resolution, said director John Pattimore.
In Dawson, the issue has polarized people who support miner Darryl Carey’s legal right to mine the land and those people who don’t believe a mine should operate within a city.
Pattimore couldn’t give out the specific wording of the resolution because it’s still being worked on, he said.
But the gist of the resolution is to ask the territorial government to include Yukon municipalities in any decision making regarding mining within their boundaries.
In Dawson, the territorial government has yet to sit down and talk about the Dome mining proposal. It plans to do so in April, almost six months after Carey’s proposal went forward to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board.
“We’re advocating for a local voice since this issue could affect any Yukon community,” said Pattimore.
Territorial laws prevent miners from staking any new placer claims within municipalities – in Dawson, placer claims were staked before city limits extended to the Dome – but it doesn’t stop miners from staking quartz claims.
In Whitehorse, there are quartz mining claims “lurking” near Mt. McIntyre, Pattimore pointed out.
In 2006, Iain Gibson staked 125 claims in Whitehorse, about 85 of which overlap ski trails in the Mt. McIntyre area.
“What happens in Dawson could be precedent setting for Whitehorse,” said Pattimore.