Western Copper has just submitted its proposal for the largest mine in the Yukon ever.
Now some environmental groups are weighing in on the proposed gold and copper mine in the central Yukon.
The company is proposing to run the mine on liquefied natural gas trucked in from British Columbia.
That doesn't sit well with Don Roberts, a member of a group called Yukoners Concerned About Oil and Gas Development.
“I think what we should do is look at a more permanent solutions,” he says, including alternatives like renewable power.
Roberts worries that using the LNG option will encourage production of the gas in the territory, and that will lead to fracking.
Lewis Rifkind is with the Yukon Conservation Society. He worries that adding 120 kilometres to the Freegold Road will encourage more development in the central Yukon.
“We'll see that cumulative impact,” Rifkind says. “About the only way we know to deal with that at the moment is through land use planning, and that hasn't happened in that region.”
Rifkind also worries about wildlife habitat in the area and the mine's closure plan.
According to him, a clean-up plan that involves a large dam and tailings pond is inadequate.
“I suspect with the current design we're going to be heading toward another Faro where we're going to require on-going treatment, essentially forever.”
Western Copper believes its proposal is solid.
The company recently launched a website to help the public understand the proposal, as the project winds through a lengthy environmental review.