A controversial placer mine in the middle of Dawson has received a development permit to operate.
For three months, council considered giving Darrell Carey permission to mine his Slinky claims along Dawson’s Midnight Dome.
Initially, councillors were concerned about Carey digging up the nearby Dome Road to look for gold.
But the town’s bylaws didn’t allow council to restrict the operation.
This month, it amended their bylaws to allow that to happen.
Now council has slapped a special provision on its development permit stating Carey can only mine under the Dome Road after he builds a new road to proper standards.
The decision was made to “protect the safety and structural integrity of the road,” said Mayor Peter Jenkins.
However, before council had even handed Carey his permit he had already dug up the roadway.
The city is in the process of taking Carey to court to reimburse the city for rebuilding a portion of the road’s right of way that Carey dug up this summer.
The town twice served Carey a stop-work order this summer for clearing trees and digging up the Dome Road without proper permission.
Carey ignored those orders and continued working his claims anyway.
He also illegally installed trailers for Nuway Crushing there.
“The trailers were brought to Dawson by a friend who was doing gravel crushing in the area,” said Mayor Peter Jenkins.
“The city asked them to move those trailers and they were moved by the deadline we requested.”
The trailers were only there for a week, he added.
But nearby neighbour Glenda Bolt said Carey has put other trailers on that land in the past.
The trailers were running generators day and night and housing workers, she said.
Neither Energy, Mines and Resources or the city provided Carey with the permits to allow those trailers there.
Bolt thinks it should have been the responsibility of Energy, Mines and Resources to remove the trailers.
In his application to the department, Carey stated it would be a four-person camp, she said.
He never obeyed that.
“It’s a fine example of why the city shouldn’t be issuing any permits to (Carey),” said Bolt.
“I don’t think (the city) has the capacity to constantly police this mining operation in a residential area.”
The Slinky placer mine has been challenged by residents ever since Carey applied to the water board for a new licence this spring.
Some have said the mine would bring noise and dust, interfere with existing ski and bike trails and create unsafe conditions for people walking and driving along the Dome Road.
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