The Yukon Supreme Court awarded damages to Dawson City this week in a trespassing case against local placer miner Darrell Carey.
Justice Ron Veale ordered Carey to pay $26,022 to replace the gravel excavated from an area near the Dome Road, if the material can be sourced from within the placer mine, and $44,690 if it cannot.
Carey must also pay the town $2,200 for the replacement of between 75 and 250 trees removed from the land.
The town’s Dome Road runs through the Slinky mine, and under his mining licence granted in 2001, Carey is required to leave a strip of land 40 metres from the centre line on either side of the roadway.
Carey breached this condition twice in 2010 when he cleared trees and excavated “granular material” near the roadside.
The town argued that the work was not only in breach of the licence, but made the road unsafe for motorists.
Carey’s excavations “pose significant hazards to, and unreasonably interfere with, the integrity of the Dome Road,” said the statement of claim.
Carey also continued to clear trees and brush from the roadside after a 2010 stop-work order forbade him to do so.
Carey argued that a territorial water board licence obtained in 2010 reduced the area that he was required to leave untouched, but Veale found that this licence did not remove the town’s claim to the larger area.
During the one-day trial in April, the town’s lawyer, James Dowler, repeated numerous times that this was a “simple case” despite the numerous binders of legislation, licences, maps, surveys and documents.
Before opening arguments began, Veale even joked that he had rarely seen a case with more past and previous legislation that still applies and still conflicts.
But this is “a simple case of trespass,” Dowler repeated, and the town is looking for minimal damages.
The mine has been controversial for Dawson City.
Carey’s claims were staked in 1988, before the town forbade the staking of placer claims within its boundaries and before the Dome Road was included within municipal borders.
In the past, the federal Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development regulated the road under the Canada Highways Act.
In 1993, the town’s boundaries were expanded and in 1995 Dawson City took over control of the road.
Licences granted by the territorial government have ignored pleas from the town that the mining operation must follow municipal regulations.
This decision sets the precedent that the town retains jurisdiction over the Dome Road and qualifies for compensation if that authority is breached.
Contact Jacqueline Ronson at