Chief Eddie Taylor of the Tr’ondek Hwech’in is calling the decision to put the Brewery Creek mine through a high-level assessment “borderline incompetent.”
The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board determined earlier this month that Golden Predator’s proposed mine project at the site would have to go through a lengthy executive review, rather than a quicker review by its regional office.
The decision came as a “total shock” to the Tr’ondek Hwech’in, said Taylor. He’s concerned that jobs will be lost as a result, he said.
The First Nation left a meeting in November with the understanding that assessors and Golden Predator would work together to submit a proposal through Dawson City’s designated office, said Taylor.
Mine openings usually require assessment by the board’s executive committee. But the company argued it was simply continuing operations at a mine that previously existed at the site.
The former mine operated between 1996 and 2002.
In a Nov. 23 letter, assessors informed the company that the Dawson designated office would review Golden Predator’s proposal, but that “ultimately, when submitted, the determination whether the proposed activities are within the jurisdiction of the designated office to assess will be made by the designated office based on the proposal submitted.”
On Feb. 14, the Dawson office informed the company that an executive committee screening would be required. The former mine had been closed and reclaimed, so new activity on the site would be considered as the construction of a new mine, assessors argued.