Mining history of The Yukon
The Yukon is a territory located in the northwestern part of Canada. The region is famous for its mineral potential and its rich mining history. The Yukon gold rush followed the discovery of gold by a fisherman, George Carmack, in the late eighteenth century. The Yukon gold rush led to the exploration of other minerals like the Yukon silver, copper, uranium, zinc and lead. This mineral potential has seen Yukon’s government implement Yukon deals to support the miners like the Yukon Mineral Exploration program and the Fuel Tax Exemption deal.
Yukon gold was discovered in the late eighteenth century by American prospectors who had heard rumors of gold existence in the territory. This discovery inspired the Klondike gold rush that saw an influx of miners in the area. The Yukon would later be made a region independent from the Northwest Territories due to the influx. Over 100,000 people made their way to Yukon with hopes of getting a slice of the cake.
The gold rush left some miners, millionaires, while others left empty-handed. Most individual Yukon gold miners later sold their stakes to large mining companies who had the technology to mine in large scale.
Although Yukon is mostly known for the Klondike gold rush, the subsequent discovery of Yukon silver also put the territory on the map. Trails of silver were discovered in the Keno Hill which would later lead to a silver rush and the establishment of the renowned Keno Hill Mines.
Although Yukon silver and gold mining is still taking place, the momentum has significantly declined over the years. Yukon’s mineral potential has neither been fully realized. However, Yukon’s government is determined to revive mining in Yukon as the mining sector is a crucial contributor to Yukon’s total economic output.
In the recent past, the Yukon government has championed projects to support both prospectors and miners in the area to encourage mining. Opening up of vast unbroken land to drilling was one step to attract prospectors for mineral discovery.
Yukon Resource Gateway Project
It is a project by the Canadian government to upgrade infrastructure in the mining area of Nahanni Range and the Dawson Range. The project will ensure 650 kilometers of the road network is improved, including bridges and culverts. The Yukon federal and territorial governments have committed over $360 million to ensure the fruition of this project.
Good infrastructure will ensure better access and utilization of resources in Yukon.
The Yukon Mineral Exploration Program (YMEP)
It is a project by the Yukon government to provide a portion of the risk capital necessary to locate, explore and develop mineral resources in the area. This project has served as a critical incentive in attracting mining companies to Yukon.
The Golden Bait
The Yukon government has succeeded in attracting prospectors by offering to support them. Over two dozen major mining companies have made their way to Yukon in the past decade. Some of them include; Goldcorp Inc., Victoria Gold Corp, ATAC Resources, Banyan Gold, Triumph Gold Corp, Gold Strike Resources, Western Copper and Gold, among others.
While YMEP has been vital in attracting these companies, significant discoveries in the Yukon have also contributed in this modern Yuko gold rush. Some of these discoveries include;
The Coffee Project
Gold Corp recently bought this project. It was valued at C $ 520 million at the time of acquisition. The project is located in the White Gold District. It is estimated to have 5 million ounces of gold currently. Gold Corp hopes to maximize the output in the coming years.
Eagle Gold Project
It is a project owned by Victoria Gold located near Mayo. The project is estimated to have 2.5 million ounces of gold currently. It is projected to be Canada’s most significant gold producing mine in the future.
Casino Mine Project
It is a project by Western Copper and Gold. Although this project currently has controversies regarding its environmental friendliness, the project is said to have great copper and gold production potential. It is expected to commence soon.
Rackla Gold Project
ATAC Resources run this project in central Yukon. The project is subdivided into three regions, namely, Osiris, Rau and Orion. The company is known for its Carlin-type gold discoveries.
Yukon gold and Yukon silver potential continue to put the region on the map to date. As more investors continue to pour in and more Yukon deals signed, the Yukon is undoubtedly a key player in Canada’s mining future and the economy as a whole.