Yukon court quashes magnetite mine approval

Chuck Eaton's proposal to mine magnetite out of tailings at the old Whitehorse Copper mine has hit another serious snag. The project, which had been fully permitted to go ahead, is no longer.

Chuck Eaton’s proposal to mine magnetite out of tailings at the old Whitehorse Copper mine has hit another serious snag.

The project, which had been fully permitted to go ahead, is no longer.

The Yukon Supreme Court has found that the Yukon government did not properly consult a company with mineral claims in the area before permitting the project.

H. Coyne and Sons Ltd. owns 376 claims in northern portions of the Whitehorse Copper Belt, including three quartz claims known as the Oro claims.

The proposed magnetite mine is adjacent to those claims.

At one point Eagle Whitehorse LLC had an agreement with Coyne and Sons to dump some tailings on the Oro claims, providing that some yet-to-be-determined compensation was granted for the access. Those details were never agreed to.

The court found that the Yukon government should have consulted Coyne and Sons when Eagle amended its application so that tailings would be placed on the Oro claims.

The government “breached its duty of procedural fairness by not advising (Coyne and Sons) of Eagle’s application for the second amendment and failing to provide (the company) with any opportunity to make comments on the application,” wrote Justice Leigh Gower in his decision.

This is the second recent setback for the mining project.

In October, Eaton said that plans could be derailed because he could not reach an acceptable deal with Skagway’s port authority over a necessary expansion of the terminal for ore exports.

“They have insisted not only that we pay for 100 per cent of the building, and that we pay for it in a four-year period, but to make it even worse they’ve front-end loaded the payments so that we pay two-thirds of the amount in the first two years and the other third in the next two years,” said Eaton in October.

There’s still no word on whether he has made any progress towards an agreement.

Eaton declined to comment for this story.

Contact Jacqueline Ronson at


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