WHITEHORSE—The Yukon legislature passed the Act to Amend the Placer Mining Act and the Quartz Mining Act yesterday. Following the passage of this act, the Yukon government approved amended regulations under the Placer Mining Act and the Quartz Mining Act. The government also designated the Ross River Area where new reporting requirements will apply.
“With these amendments to our mining acts and regulations, the Yukon government has met the declaration of the Yukon Court of Appeal regarding Class 1 exploration activities in the Ross River Area. We believe this will improve communication among the mining industry, First Nations and government,” Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Scott Kent said. “Improved communication and management of land results in better outcomes for everyone involved.”
The act and regulation amendments allow the Yukon government to designate areas where industry must notify the government of low level (Class 1) mining exploration activities. The amendments will also give the Yukon government the ability to establish special operating conditions in areas that have high environmental, cultural or socio-economic values.
The December 27, 2012 decision of the Yukon Court of Appeal—Ross River Dena Council vs. Government of Yukon—stated that the Yukon government has a duty to notify and, where appropriate, consult with and accommodate the Ross River Dena Council, before allowing any mining exploration activities to take place within the Ross River Area. The court imposed a deadline of December 27, 2013.
Some details on Class 1 requirements, specifically relating to which low level activities may require notification, are still to be determined. The Yukon government will be continuing discussions on these and other details early in the new year.
For information on the amendments and the designated areas: emr.gov.yk.ca
Communications, Energy, Mines and Resources