The City of Dawson will allow the Yukon government to re-route a section of the Dome Road so that a miner can access the gold he has claim to underneath.
Residents had appealed the town’s decision to grant the development permit. In the town’s decision on the appeal released yesterday, it said the construction would be allowed, but added additional conditions to the permit.
One of the new conditions is that the Yukon government must have written proof that the miner has agreed to extinguish his claims after being allowed to mine out the area for a set time-frame.
The claims in question are owned by Darrell Carey.
He bought the Slinky claims in 1998, after Dawson’s municipal boundary was extended to include the Dome area.
Since then, his efforts to pull placer gold from the ground have put him in conflict with the town of Dawson and Dome Road residents.
The claims are adjacent to, and in some cases overlap, properties in a 74-lot subdivision. Local residents have complained that the mine operations are disruptive and pose a threat to their safety and property values.
The Yukon government has also been planning a new subdivision that overlaps with Carey’s claims. Because of his continued rights to the gold beneath the road, those lots have not been developed.
The Yukon government approached Dawson council a year ago, offering help to resolve the issue, said Mayor Wayne Potoroka in an interview Thursday.
It said it would pay to reroute the Dome Road if the miner would agree to extinguish his claims in the area after being given a chance to mine it out.
That agreement has not yet been finalized, although both Potoroka and a spokesperson for Energy, Mines and Resources said discussions are going well.
“The hope is still that all the pieces can come together so that the project can still move ahead this summer,” said Jesse Devost with EMR this week.
There are hurdles ahead besides reaching an agreement with the miner, he said.
The government must also secure funding internally and meet with Dawson residents.
There also could be an issue related to Canada’s Migratory Birds Convention Act, which doesn’t allow for the clearing of brush after May 1 until later in the season, said Potoroka.
Some Dome residents have argued that re-routing the road is an unnecessary subsidy of Carey’s mining activity.
“In its proposal, and its actions to date, YTG is effectively telling council and residents that the right to mine is more important than the right to govern,” said resident Jim Taggart in a news release last month.
The Yukon government could simply not renew Carey’s mining licence when it expires next year, residents have argued. That would solve the land-use conflict much sooner.
But that might be easier said than done, said Potoroka.
“I’m not certain that that would actually be the case, that you could just extinguish somebody’s mining claim. I’m not sure that that’s possible. In fact, my understanding is that these claims could be renewed in perpetuity.”
Dawson council has carefully considered the objections raised by residents against the proposal, he said.
“We take every piece of input that we receive seriously. Even if we don’t always agree with the perspectives we hear, we also prove them out.
“In the end, this is the avenue we’re pursuing because we think it gives us the best chance of expediting the situation and resulting in some residential lots up there.”
Contact Jacqueline Ronson at