Officials promote Yukon resources to China

Officials from Yukon's Department of Economic Development have returned from a trip to China where they worked to drum up investment for the territory.

Officials from Yukon’s Department of Economic Development have returned from a trip to China where they worked to drum up investment for the territory.

“We we’re quite pleased in terms of the level of interest and the level of response that we got,” said Terry Hayden, assistant deputy minister.

Hayden travelled with two senior business advisors and a geologist to the China Mining conference and a business forum in Beijing. The team also met with several investment firms that deal with individual and small corporate clients, said Hayden.

“There’s investment potential from a few million dollars, you want to get into placer, you want to get into exploration, up to a couple billion dollars.”

Their role was to expose potential investors to those different options, he said.

At least two groups that they met with have said that they will come visit the Yukon next year, said Hayden.

The trip cost about $42,000. Yukon officials have attended China Mining every year since 2006.

“The message is that the Yukon has a large mineral endowment, that we have a positive investment climate here in the territory, that we are welcoming of foreign investment in the territory,” said Economic Development Minister Currie Dixon, who did not join the trip.

The Yukon has been successful in attracting Asian investment in the past, said Dixon.

He noted Yukon Zinc’s Chinese-owned Wolverine mine and the Selwyn project, owned by Chinese company Chihong Canada Mining Ltd., as examples.

Currently there are a couple of late-stage mining projects looking for investors to push them into production.

Victoria Gold’s Eagle mine and Western Copper and Gold’s massive Casino project both need to attract substantial investment capital.

But the Yukon government does not advocate on behalf of specific projects, said Dixon.

Instead, it advocates on behalf of the territory as a place of low geopolitical risk for investments, he said.

“Investment capital is very mobile. It can go anywhere. It can go just as easily to Africa or South America or other places in Asia. So we have to be proactive, and we have been very successful in doing that, in getting out and promoting Yukon as a positive place to invest.”

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at

jronson@yukon-news.com

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