Alexco Resource Corp. is hoping to resume mining for silver this year in Yukon's Keno Hill district, five years after the company shut down its Bellekeno mine. 

The Vancouver-based company has applied to the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) to develop its Bermingham deposit on Galena Hill, about 6.8 kilometres from Keno City, Yukon. The company's existing licences would need to be amended for the new deposit.

According to Alexco, the Bermingham deposit is comparable to the types and grades of silver first found at Keno Hill almost a century ago.

​"It's good news, for sure. It's more jobs, it's more opportunities — it's great," said Scott Bolton, mayor of the nearby community of Mayo.

Bolton says community members are pleased that the company hopes to go into production this summer.


Alexco ceased production at its nearby Bellekeno silver-lead-zinc mine in 2013, citing low commodity prices. (CBC)

"It is mostly the employment opportunities, you know — giving jobs to people that just don't have the opportunities in Mayo."

"It's been quiet here for so many years, and depressed. And all of a sudden now, between Alexco and Victoria Gold, if you want to go to work, you can go to work."

Alexco's Bellekeno silver mine was in operation for two years before the company shut it down in 2013, because of low commodity prices. According to the company, Bellekeno produced about two million ounces of silver and 20 million pounds of lead and zinc concentrate each year while in operation.

Speaking at an industry convention in Whitehorse earlier this year, Alexco CEO Clynt Nauman said the company is  ready for the new mine.

YESAB is accepting public comments on the Bermingham project until Feb. 22.

With files from Mike Rudyk