The Yukon government has given the green light to a controversial mining project in Dawson.
Tuesday, the government announced it would reject the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Board’s recommendation for the Slinky placer mine.
That recommendation was to not allow Darrell Carey to mine 19 placer claims on Dawson’s Midnight Dome, a subdivision within Dawson city limits.
Lowered housing costs and a decrease in wellbeing for nearby residents were some of the reasons given by the board.
But the government has turned a blind eye to those concerns.
“While the decision body (the Yukon government) recognizes that this project may affect certain community values (e.g. existing trails) the effect to these values is not considered significant given the magnitude and reversibility of those potential effects,” they wrote in their final decision to the board.
“The Decision Body does not accept that this project will reduce property values in the surrounding area given that the project has been in operation for a number of years and property values throughout the Town of the City of Dawson have been on the rise.”
Carey has held claims to the area since 1998 and 1999 and since then he has done some exploratory work on the Dome.
With his recent application to the environmental board, he wants to ramp up the level of his mining operation.
Residents fear that his proposed mining project – which requires a section of the Dome Road to be relocated and that 40,000 cubic metres of land be stripped per year, for 10 years – is too invasive.
“The decision to reject the Dawson YESAB board decisions will have an impact far beyond Dawson,” said NDP leader, Elizabeth Hanson in a press release.
“It is yet another demonstration of the Fentie government’s lack of democratic accountability.”
In March, Dawson mayor Peter Jenkins announced that his government will soon meet with other levels of government to discuss the issue of placer mining claims staked within municipal boundaries. (Vivian Belik)