Yukon, the land of the midnight sun, is best known for the Klondike gold rush of 1896 to 1899. 100,000 prospectors migrated up north in search of gold, 30,000 arrived, and it was rumoured only 4,000 found any. This was all done through placer mining, panning for gold on the Yukon River.
The origins of that mineralization is said to be from the “mother lode”, the location still unknown. A modern claim staking rush was sparked up north when Rob McLeod’s Underworld Resources discovered the White Gold Deposit in 2009 which sold for $140M to Kinross the following year.
This past month I was very fortunate to have represented CEO.ca on a weeklong media tour arranged by Corey Kanzig, Senior Business Dev. Advisor, Government of Yukon and Anne Lewis, Executive Director, Yukon Mining Alliance . We were set up with site visits to ATAC Resources, Alexco Resources, Wellgreen Platinum, Kaminak Gold, Rockhaven Resources, Western Copper & Gold, and Victoria Gold. I will be covering each company in detail along with Government and First Nations involvement in a series of posts beginning with this one.
This trip would not have been possible without the dedication, planning, and hard work of Mr. Kanzig and Ms. Lewis. A huge thanks goes out to them and the others involved. The professionals in the Yukon Government and YMA are dedicated to educating others on why the Yukon is a premier territory for mineral exploration, development, and operating mines. The Yukon is fortunate to have such proactive resource advocates; the industry needs more people like this.
The Yukon Mining Alliance is heavily involved as a close partner to the Yukon Government acting as a strategic pillar in the Yukon mining community. They ensure members adhere to sustainability policies in terms of community relations, environmental responsibility, and labour relations. The group also tirelessly markets the Yukon resource industry around the globe through conferences and focused campaigns.
Mr. Kanzig was our tour guide for the week and provided us with all the right facts of why the Government of the Yukon are supporters of the mineral extraction industry. Mining is the Yukon’s largest private sector economic driver accounting for 20% of GDP. The Yukon Government wants to attract more residents, build infrastructure, and drive the economy with mining as the foundation. The Yukon is home to 37,000 individuals with 27,000 residing in Whitehorse providing close relationships for all.
Day one a few members from the media group toured the local sights in Whitehorse. When walking through downtown, albeit 5 blocks, it was evident they are truly proud of their mining heritage. The town centrepiece is of a gold prospector and his trusty pack dog. The engravings on it honour the Yukon Prospectors Hall of Fame for their search for minerals against seemingly impossible odds. As a young professional still learning about the sector, names I was familiar with were Shawn Ryan and the Archer Cathro Group.
After learning about the rich history the Yukon had to offer we headed back to the hotel to acquaint ourselves with the other members on the tour. The first night everyone on the trip was lucky and found some Yukon Gold. But it was the liquid type. Nonetheless it put a smile on everyone’s face before the start of the official weeklong tour.
Check back here on Monday for more on our Yukon trip.