Yukon Zinc’s Wolverine minesite in 2009. The Yukon government’s bid to have the Wolverine mine put into receivership will be allowed to proceed again after a YukonSupreme Court justice lifted a temporary stay on the proceedings. (John Thompson/Yukon News file)

Judge lifts stay on Wolverine mine proceedings

Yukon government wants the troubled mine placed into the hands of a receiver

The Yukon government’s bid to have the Wolverine mine put into receivership will be allowed to proceed again after a Yukon Supreme Court justice lifted a temporary stay on the proceedings.

The matter was put on pause Aug. 1, the day the Yukon government’s petition to have the troubled mine placed into the hands of a receiver was set to be heard, after mine owner Yukon Zinc Corp. revealed it had filed a notice of intention to make a proposal under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act the day before.

Such a filing puts an automatic stay on any legal proceedings against the company for 30 days.

Yukon Zinc owes more the $25 million in security for the Wolverine mine, and the Yukon government has stepped in to take on remediation and environmental mitigation efforts after several failures to do so by the company.

Yukon Zinc lawyer Kibben Jackson had argued that a Yukon court had no authority to lift the stay since the notice had been filed in Vancouver, where the company’s head office is located, and that the Yukon government would need to travel to British Columbia in order to properly apply for the stay to be lifted.

However, in a decision released Aug. 7, Yukon Supreme Court Justice Suzanne Duncan wrote that despite having its headquarters in Vancouver, Yukon Zinc has”more substantial connections to the Yukon in this matter” — the mine and its associated assets and employees, as well as any “costs and consequences” associated with the mine’s remediation, are in the territory. The British Columbia courts have also not been “substantively engaged in the matter,” Duncan also wrote, and Yukon courts have the jurisdiction to preside over bankruptcy matters too.

She found that the Yukon Supreme Court had the authority to lift the stay, adding that the Yukon government “is materially prejudiced by the stay and it would be equitable to lift the stay to allow the petition to appoint a receiver to be heard.”

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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