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Dawson City placer mining proposal withdrawn

A recent application for a 10-year permit to mine placer claims on the east side of the Dome Road in Dawson City has been discontinued - for now.

A recent application for a 10-year permit to mine placer claims on the east side of the Dome Road in Dawson City has been discontinued - for now.

The decision stems from a disagreement between the two co-owners of the majority of the claims included in the application - Darrell Carey and Rod Adams.

Adams said he didn’t know Carey had submitted a proposal to mine the claims until he saw it in the news earlier this month.

He then informed the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board that he didn’t support the application, which brought the process to a halt.

Carey’s proposal came up in the legislative assembly this month, when NDP mining critic Jim Tredger raised concerns that Dawson residents would soon have “a new mine operating in their backyard.”

Of the 31 claims included in the proposal, six belong to Carey alone. Carey and Adams jointly own the remaining 25. Their company is called 47162 Yukon Inc.

But the original YESAB proposal lists Carey as the sole proponent for all 31 claims.

“I wasn’t even considered and I wasn’t part of the ownership,” Adams said. “It’s a 50/50 property and I wasn’t agreeable with his application.”

YESAB’s Dawson manager, Shelby Jordan, wrote an email to Carey’s agent on Tuesday explaining why the application was being discontinued.

“While I recognize that Mr. Carey is a director of 47162 Yukon Inc. so is Mr. Adams and as it stands right now the corporation… is not the listed proponent for the submission we have before us,” she wrote. “Obviously there are some matters that need to be taken care of between Mr. Carey and Mr. Adams with respect to the corporation and those registered claims. Until that happens, there isn’t much we can do on this front with respect to those claims.”

Adams said he and Carey did some work together on those claims in 2013. But he said they haven’t spoken since then.

He wouldn’t give any details about the nature of their disagreement. “We couldn’t get along,” was all he said.

Adams said he and Carey are now planning to break up the company. He said they’re scheduled to appear before Yukon Supreme Court in February 2016 to figure out who will retain ownership of the 25 claims.

He said he doesn’t know why Carey decided to submit an application now, before their dispute has been settled.

Carey declined to comment for this story.

Still, this hiccup doesn’t mean the claims won’t be mined. Adams said he plans to submit his own application if he gets to keep the claims. He didn’t give any details about what his proposal would look like, saying only that “there’s a lot of difference between his (Carey’s) application and my application.”

Sebastian Jones, a board member of the Klondike Active Transport and Trails Society, said he’s “relieved” the application has been discontinued. He said Carey’s proposal would have destroyed a number of cross-country ski trails on the east side of the Dome Road. But he knows the proposal isn’t necessarily gone for good.

“This issue has not gone away.”

He said the society has tried to contact Carey to ask about the project, but hasn’t heard back.

YESAB spokesperson Rob Yeomans said now that the application has been discontinued, Carey can’t simply pick up where he left off. If he does retain ownership of the claims, he will have to submit a new project proposal and start the YESAB process over again.

Carey’s Slinky mine on the west side of the Dome Road has been the subject of controversy for the last several years, in part because his claims are located where the Yukon government wants to build a new subdivision.

A deal was reached in 2014 that saw the Yukon government agree to reroute the Dome Road around Carey’s claims to give him easier access. In exchange, Carey agreed to finish mining the area by the end of 2017 and to surrender some or all of his claims after that.

In the legislative assembly earlier this month, Tredger asked why the claims on the east side of the road were not included in the 2014 agreement. The government didn’t answer the question directly.

According to Carey’s latest YESAB application, the claims on the east side of the Dome Road are further from existing residences than the Slinky mine is. However, it did note that some residences overlap the northernmost claims, and promised that “a 100-metre buffer will remain undisturbed in this area.”

Contact Maura Forrest at