Miner still wants to explore Tombstone

Once again, Canadian United Minerals has applied to do mineral exploration in Tombstone Territorial Park. Last year, the Yukon government barred the local mining company from searching for gold there.

Once again, Canadian United Minerals has applied to do mineral exploration in Tombstone Territorial Park.

Last year, the Yukon government barred the local mining company from searching for gold there.

Concerns included the fact the company would have to cut through environmentally sensitive habitat to get to site, which is tucked deep inside the park. Also, mining would affect trappers and tourism operators who work in the park, as well as tarnish Tombstone’s iconic image.

The thought of snowmobiles and helicopters roaring through the pristine territorial park also troubled officials.

As company owner Joel White’s mining record.

White left behind leaking fuel barrels, explosives and unfilled trenches at his exploration camp in the park, which he has worked since the late ‘90s.

At a similar camp near Dawson, he didn’t report a 15,100-litre diesel spill and repeatedly ignored requests to clean up his worksite.

White is confidant his application will pass this time around and expects to be back on the land this summer.

“We’re not applying for winter access, so I guess that would be the primary difference,” he said, explaining why this application is different from the last.

“We’ve also basically indicated roughly how many trips that we’re planning to make.”

Access would be made by helicopter from July to late September, with scheduled flights every two weeks.

The site is around 57 kilometres northeast of Dawson by air. It’s at least 195 kilometres if you try to reach it overland.

The application was made to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board on March 28 and posted on the board’s website last week.

The assessment board is currently doing an adequacy review, which was recently extended.

The extension, announced yesterday, was given to give the assessment board more time to “consider whether the project proposed is considered to be the same project that was recommended to not proceed August 2010.”

The board also wants to ensure there is adequate information.

“During the last assessment there were a number of inconsistencies and changes once the proposal was deemed adequate,” the board said in its written notice.

“The intent is to avoid this happening again.”

The deadline for the adequacy review is now June 3.

Contact Chris Oke at

chriso@yukon-news.com

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