Dawson City mining claims to be auctioned off

A Dawson City placer mining company has decided to sell off almost half its Klondike claims to the highest bidder.

104 claims to be sold in major mining and equipment auction in Edmonton this month

Dulac Mining has been working 242 claims near Dawson City for the past six summers. The company is now selling off 104 of the claims. (Dulac Mining)

They'd be easy to miss in the inventory list for the upcoming Ritchie Brothers' equipment auction in Edmonton — which is heavy on heavy equipment (thousands of trucks, trailers, hydraulic excavators) — but the two items are definitely odd.

Each consists of a few dozen mining claims deep in Yukon's Klondike region.

"It is an unusual sale," said Marcel Dulac of Dulac Mining, the company that now owns the claims. 104 are going up for sale — one lot of 53, and one lot of 51.

"We had 242 claims, so it was a bit too big of a holdings for us to manage all of the assessment work."

The annual auction in Edmonton is a big deal. Last year's event saw about 14,000 bidders from 55 countries bid on about 7,700 items. 

It's a major clearinghouse for mining and construction equipment, and the number of items for sale this year — a record 10,300 — offer a good illustration of Alberta's current troubles. There's a lot of unused equipment, looking for work.

Dulac believes that means it's a good time to try to sell his unwanted Yukon claims.

"A lot of these private entrepreneurs are looking to other types of businesses to continue doing business. A lot of eyes have turned towards placer mining," he said.

"So the interest is quite high."

Still, the auction is a bit of a gamble for Dulac. He has no idea what his claims might fetch.

"It's an unreserved auction, so prices could go for five dollars per claim, all the way up to several thousand dollars per claim. But I wouldn't want to take a guess, it's still an auction."

The auction happens in Edmonton over 5 days, April 26 to 30.

With files from Vic Istchenko