Kluane First Nation signs deal with platinum miners

The Kluane First Nation has signed an agreement with a Canadian-based mining company hoping to explore for platinum in the southwest Yukon. Prophecy Platinum Corp. has projects all across Canada, as well as in Argentina and Uruguay.

The Kluane First Nation has signed an agreement with a Canadian-based mining company hoping to explore for platinum in the southwest Yukon.

Prophecy Platinum Corp. has projects all across Canada, as well as in Argentina and Uruguay, but its flagship endeavor, called the Wellgreen Project, is only about 25 kilometres from Burwash Landing in the Kluane First Nation’s traditional territory.

“The Prophecy team is committed to an open and mutually beneficial relationship,” said Chairman John Lee in a press release Thursday. “This agreement reflects our genuine and mutual commitment to work together in support of one another’s interests.”

The co-operation and benefits agreement addresses employment, training and contracting opportunities for the First Nation’s citizens and businesses and it gives the aboriginal government equity in the company.

The Wellgreen Project is made up of 120 claims over 2,500 hectares.

In June, the company, which spun off of Prophecy Coal in June 2011, released an outline of what resources exist at Wellgreen.

According to the company’s preliminary economic assessment, the site could support an 111,500 tonne per day open pit mine.

The project is expected to produce about 2 billion pounds of nickel and copper ore and 7.119 million ounces of a platinum-palladium-gold mixture over a 37-year mine life.

Initial costs are predicted at about $863 million. The company expects to have all of its permits by 2016 and wants to begin production in 2019.

“(This preliminary assessment) positions Wellgreen as one of the most compelling mineral projects in the Yukon,” said Greg Hall, a director with Prophecy, in June.

There has already been a copper and nickel mine at the site, which operated in the 1970s.

It left an existing access road and camps right off the highway. Prophecy would only have to build the new mine and mill.

A 20,000-metre underground drill program started in February and more extensive exploration work is expected soon, Hall said in June.

Currently, most of Prophecy’s proceeds are going towards the Wellgreen Project.

Contact Roxanne Stasyszyn at roxannes@yukon-news.com

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