Chinese-owned mining company Selwyn Chihong has shelved plans to develop a lead-zinc deposit at the Yukon/N.W.T. border for at least a year.

The company had hoped to submit applications to regulators this year, but instead decided to slow things down.

"The current downturn in metal prices removed the urgency for us," said Maurice Albert, the company's vice-president of external affairs

Maurice Albert

Maurice Albert, a Selwyn Chihong vice-president, said the downturn in the economy means moving ahead is 'really not appropriate at this time.' (Selwyn Chihong)

"It's a matter of entering the process at the right time, and at the present time, with the downturn in the economy, it's really not appropriate."

The company's decision prompted Yukon's Kaska Dena communities to postpone a vote Monday on the company's proposed benefits agreement. The deposit lies within traditional Kaska territory.

A new date for the vote has not been set.

Albert said delaying the mine project will allow Selwyn Chihong more time to consult the Kaska, "to better address the concerns that they have been raising through this process."

He said the company will also do more exploratory drilling at the site.