Rudolph appeals court decision

Yukon businessman Jon Rudolph isn't ready to pay his creditors yet. On Jan.

Yukon businessman Jon Rudolph isn’t ready to pay his creditors yet.

On Jan. 11, the mining magnate appealed a December ruling by the Yukon Supreme Court that rejected his argument that when it comes to settling debts, he ought to pay himself first.

Rudolph owes two big debts related to his ill-fated purchase in 2005 of the Ross placer mine on Dominion Creek, 80 kilometres southeast of Dawson City.

Norman Ross, the placer mine’s founder, is owed $3.4 million. And Mackenzie Petroleums is owed $739,500 for fuel supplied to the mine operation.

When both parties made legal claims on the mine’s assets two years ago, Rudolph responded by making a similar claim, or lien, of his own for $4.7 million.

His case depends on the complicated corporate structure put in place at the mine, involving three separate companies. All are owned and controlled by Rudolph: Golden Hill Ventures Limited, Golden Hill Ventures Limited Partnership and Ross Mining.

Essentially, Ross Mining subcontracted Golden Hill to run the mine. And when Ross Mining went bust, Golden Hill asserted that it had been soaked, too.

Yet Golden Hill did more than work for Ross Mining. It also managed Ross’s accounting, payroll and government filings.

Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale concluded that Golden Hill is “both owner and supplier” of Ross Mining and it would be “completely contrary to the object and purpose” of the Miners Lien Act to allow his claim.

Now Rudolph is pushing to see if the Court of Appeal agrees. He did not return calls about the case.

Pelly wins new Minto contract

Pelly Construction will continue to operate heavy machinery at the Yukon’s Minto mine for the next five years.

“It’s great news for a Yukon company,” said Pelly’s VP Jess Jewel.

The company had to compete against several rivals to renew the contract, which it had held for nearly six years.

“It was definitely a competitive process,” said Cindy Burnett, VP of investor relations for Capstone Mining Corp, which owns the copper mine.

The renewed contract sets to rest fears floated in December that some heavy-equipment operators may lose their jobs. Pelly has approximately 75 workers at the site.

The last details of the contract have yet to be hammered out, but the deal is expected to be signed by the end of the month.

Contact John Thompson at johnt@yukon-news.com