Supreme Court to settle spat over contentious Dome Road placer claims

A dispute between two owners of a set of controversial placer mining claims in Dawson City was heard in Yukon Supreme Court this week. Darrell Carey and Rod Adams want to dissolve their company, 47162 Yukon Inc.

A dispute between two owners of a set of controversial placer mining claims in Dawson City was heard in Yukon Supreme Court this week.

Darrell Carey and Rod Adams want to dissolve their company, 47162 Yukon Inc. But they both want to keep some or all of the 25 claims they purchased together on the east side of the Dome Road in 2013.

Carey and Adams haven’t mined the claims since 2013 because of a disagreement over how the mine should be run.

On Thursday, the court heard that Adams wants the 25 claims to be put up for a sealed-bid auction, meaning both he and Carey would put forward bids without knowing how much the other had bid. The bids would each have to be at least $500,000, which is what the claims were worth in 2013.

“They haven’t increased in value in that time,” Adams’ lawyer, Meagan Hannam, told Justice Ron Veale.

But Carey hasn’t agreed to a sealed-bid auction, because he believes he doesn’t stand a chance of winning the claims.

“He knows that Rod Adams is a much wealthier man than he is,” Carey’s representative, Barry Ernewein, told the court. “And he knows he’ll get outbid.”

Instead, Carey wants to split the 25 claims with Adams. He’s proposing a split that would leave him with 16 claims and Adams with nine. The claims he wants to keep are adjacent to his existing Slinky mine claims. The claims he’s proposing to give to Adams are in two separate blocks along a creek bed further east of the Dome Road.

There is also some ready-to-sluice ground on the claims Carey wants to keep, but he’s proposing to split that with Adams as well.

Though Carey would end up with the majority of the claims if his plan were adopted, he said that many of them are already mined out.

“I’m just trying to make it easy for everybody, that’s all,” he told the court.

But Hannam said Adams isn’t interested in splitting the claims.

“We received a letter proposing this about a month ago, and we declined it,” she explained.

One of the issues is that much of the area hasn’t been properly sampled for gold. That makes it difficult to know which claims are most valuable.

“Splitting them in half doesn’t ensure that each stakeholder gets equal value,” Hannam argued.

She also expressed doubt that Carey actually would split the ready-to-sluice ground with Adams.

Hannam argued that a sealed-bid auction would be fairer because it would ensure that both men “receive value” from the claims. If Adams jacks up his bid to be sure he outbids Carey, she pointed out, then Carey gets a larger windfall.

“At the end, everyone comes out with value from this process,” she said. “It’s just a question of what form it takes.”

During the hearing, Veale said that standard practice would be to put the claims up for sealed bids. But he seemed to acknowledge that Carey and Adams are not on the same financial footing.

“I guess the evidence is that having the sealed bid gives Mr. Adams a distinct advantage,” he said. He referred to Carey as the miner and Adams as the “money man” in the joint operation.

Ernewein stressed that point, suggesting that Adams doesn’t really have an interest in mining, while Carey has done it all his life.

Carey also made an emotional appeal to Veale. “I just always wanted to be a miner,” he said. “I started when I was younger, and I hope I can finish when I’m older.”

Hannam stressed the importance of reaching a resolution quickly, if either party hopes to mine the claims this season. She said it’s already unclear whether that will be possible.

These 25 placer claims made news last December, when it came to light that Carey had applied for a 10-year permit to mine the claims, raising concerns among some Dawson residents.

Shortly after that, Adams informed the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board that he didn’t support the application, which brought the process to a halt. At the time, Adams said he hadn’t known about Carey’s application until he saw it in the news.

Both men plan to mine the Dawson claims if they retain ownership.

Veale will deliver his decision at 3 p.m. on Friday.

Contact Maura Forrest at

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

During our recent conversation, John Nicholson showed me snapshots of his time working on the Yukon riverboats 70 years ago. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: Yukon man relives the riverboat days after seven decades

John Nicholson took summer work on Yukon steamers in the 1950s

A city map shows the property at 107 Range Road. The zoning is now in place for developers to proceed with plans for a Dairy Queen drive-thru. If plans proceed on schedule the new restaurant is anticipated to open in October. (Cyrstal Schick/Yukon News)
October opening eyed for Dairy Queen

Will depend on everything going according to plan

NDP candidate Annie Blake, left, and Liberal incumbent Pauline Frost. (Submitted photos)
Official recount confirms tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin riding

Both candidates Pauline Frost and Annie Blake are still standing with 78 votes each

Artist’s rendering of a Dairy Queen drive-thru. At its April 13 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved a zoning change to allow a drive-thru at 107 Range Road. Developers sought the change to build a Dairy Queen there. (Submitted)
Drive-thru approved by Whitehorse city council at 107 Range Road

Rezoning could pave the way for a Dairy Queen


Wyatt’s World for April 14, 2021.… Continue reading

Joel Krahn/ Hikers traverse the Chilkoot Trail in September 2015. Alaska side.
The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer

The Canadian side of the Chilkoot Trail will open for summer Parks… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall (Yukon News file)
City news, briefly

A look at city council matters for the week of April 12

École Whitehorse Elementary Grade 7 students Yumi Traynor and Oscar Wolosewich participated in the Civix Student Vote in Whitehorse on April 12. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Yukon Student Vote chooses Yukon Party government; NDP take popular vote

The initiative is organized by national non-profit CIVIX

Yvonne Clarke is the newly elected Yukon Party MLA for Porter Creek Centre. (Submitted/Yukon Party)
Yvonne Clarke elected as first Filipina MLA in the Yukon Legislative Assembly

Clarke beat incumbent Liberal Paolo Gallina in Porter Creek Centre

Emily Tredger at NDP election night headquarters after winning the Whitehorse Centre riding. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Emily Tredger takes Whitehorse Centre for NDP

MLA-elect ready to get to work in new role

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Two new cases of COVID-19 variant identified in territory

“If variants were to get out of control in the Yukon, the impact could be serious.”

Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

Most Read