Yukon mine a year away from pouring 1st gold bar
Victoria Gold is well on its way to building the newest large-scale gold mine in North America
Victoria Gold Corporation's president John McConnell says he still can't believe he will be pouring the first gold bar from Yukon's Eagle Gold mine just a year from now — in October 2019.
The mine site, about 80 kilometres north of Mayo, was busy through the summer with the arrival of new heavy machinery.
"I have to pinch myself," said McConnell.
"It's quite the undertaking for a company the size of Victoria [Gold]. It's one thing for a company like Goldcorp or Teck Resources to build a mine with all their resources. But we are a small little company and we are doing it.
"'This has been a ten-year story, so to actually have the work going on feels fantastic for me and my team."
Yukoners are already being put to work at the site — there are now 420 people working there, with 275 of them from Yukon.
125 are First Nation citizens, McConnell says, and 40 of those are from the Na-Cho Nyak Dun First Nation in Mayo.
"It certainly exceeds my expectations in terms of the number of Yukoners and the number of First Nations people," he said.
"A lot of people didn't think we could get to this point but we are there now, and hopefully, this is the start of building a mining company."
McConnell says once it's in operation, the mine will be the largest non-government employer in the Yukon.
McConnell says the company has already spent nearly $300 million dollars to develop the mine, with about $150 million worth of contracts going to Yukon companies.