North

Don't give up, Yukon gov't tells miner after rejecting Dome Road proposal

'I want to see this proponent have the opportunity to access the gold that’s part of his claims,' said Ranj Pillai, minister of energy, mines and resources.

Mines minister Ranj Pillai says solution can be found so Darrell Carey can mine his claims

'My hope is that we have an opportunity to re-engage with him, and that a solution can come up,' said Ranj Pillai, Yukon's minister of energy, mines and resources. (CBC)

Yukon's new mines minister is looking to make nice with a Dawson City miner whose contentious proposal was just rejected by the government.

"I want to see this proponent have the opportunity to access the gold that's part of his claims," said Ranj Pillai, minister of energy, mines and resources.

"My hope is that we have an opportunity to re-engage with him, and that a solution can come up."

Darrell Carey wants to set up a placer mining operation on a set of claims he acquired earlier this year in a court fight, on the east side of Dawson's Dome Road. His proposal was rejected though, because it would interfere with the community's cross country ski trails.

A mining claim in Dawson City, Yukon. The annual Roundup conference ended this week and experts say the mining sector is making progress. (Julie Landry/Radio-Canada)

The government's written decision suggests Carey could re-submit a new application, after consulting further with the community and the Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in First Nation, and including better mitigation measures.

Pillai says the government is committed to help mediate any solution.

"Many times, when a solution is achieved, it's going to be through an appropriate respectful broad conversation. You have to be really patient at times, and go back and try to get to a good solution," he said.

Claims 'expropriated', agent says

Carey's agent Randy Clarkson did not sound as optimistic however, saying he didn't see any room for compromise. He says Carey already offered to re-route the ski trails, but that option was rejected.

Clarkson says Carey should be compensated for what amounts to the "expropriation" of his claims, bought earlier this year for $752,000.

Pillai says there's a larger issue that also needs to be addressed — the question of mining within municipal boundaries. He says the government will meet in the new year with First Nations, the Association of Yukon Communities, and other stakeholders, to come up with an "action plan".

"We feel that it's time to start that broad conversation," he said. "It would have been nice if it was addressed ten years ago." 

With files from Vic Istchenko

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