Dawson subdivision mine withdrawn

The application proposing a placer mine in Dawson City's dredge pond subdivision has been withdrawn.

The application proposing a placer mine in Dawson City’s dredge pond subdivision has been withdrawn.

The proposed project has seen its fair share of public opposition, not just because the future mine would be next door to many homes in the country residential neighbourhood, but also because of miner Mike Heisey’s plans to ford the salmon-rich Klondike River, which separates his two claims.

On March 2, the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board requested more information from Heisey.

Two pages of questions were sent to Heisey asking about wildlife, waste management, river use, access, operation hours, refueling and plans to use the dredge ponds for tailings, said Shelby Jordan, manager of the assessment board’s Dawson City office.

As with all YESAB requests for more information, Heisey had 28 days to respond.

On April 2, a notice of withdrawal was added to the project’s file.

It says the board did not receive any response to its request and so the proposal was automatically withdrawn and the assessment discontinued.

“We didn’t receive a word,” said Jordan. “Nothing.”

“I had asked my consultant to notify them that we were gathering that information,” said Heisey in a telephone interview Tuesday.

“I am not too concerned about it though because the avenue of withdrawing the mining claims in exchange for deed of property is supposedly underway. At least the city is on my side, trying to make it happen with YTG, but I don’t know. I haven’t been provided with an update lately.”

Micah Olesh, the town’s development officer, was not able to confirm whether Dawson City was “on Heisey’s side” in negotiating a deal with the territory, but he was able to confirm that if a deal were to be negotiated and struck, it would be between the territory and Heisey and not the town.

If Heisey did agree to give up his claims, he’d be giving up subsurface rights for fee-simple title, said Olesh. That would mean Heisey would not be able to mine his property.

Heisey staked the two placer claims in the Klondike Valley back in the summer of 1980. That was well before the 2003 territorial order that forbade the staking of placer claims within Dawson City’s municipal limits.

If he gives up these claims, he won’t be able to stake new ones in the same area, Olesh said.

Heisey, who also manages a large placer mining operation on Eureka Creek and Indian River, said he hadn’t been giving the dredge pond claims that much attention lately as he has been busy preparing for the upcoming mining season.

But he will now, he added.

The Department of Energy, Mines and Resources was not available for comment.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at