YG greenlights new pit at Minto

The Yukon government approved Dec. 19 a new open pit at the Minto copper mine near Pelly Crossing.

The Yukon government approved Dec. 19 a new open pit at the Minto copper mine near Pelly Crossing.

The mine’s owner, Capstone subsidiary Minto Explorations Ltd., had been seeking approval for amendments to its mining plan and water licence to keep mining at the site through 2017.

“Minto is Yukon’s only operating hard rock mine and we are pleased to see they are moving forward with plans to continue mining in 2017…,” said Ranj Pillai, minister of Energy, Mines and Resources, in a news release. “I support the department’s decision to amend the mine licence, thereby extending the Minto mine life.”

Activites at the new pit had already been OK’d by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board back in 2014.

Minto had been facing closure next year, due to a run of low copper prices. Open pit mining stopped in September, causing 58 workers to lose their jobs. The remaining staff had been processing stockpiled ore.

The company says the new pit will mean work for 40-45 employees.