YESAB shelves placer gold project planned for Dawson City's Dome Road
Residents fear destruction of green belt, ski trails
Plans to expand a placer gold mining operation near Dawson City's Dome Road have hit a snag.
The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB) has suspended its review of the plan because of a legal dispute between Darrell Carey and Rod Adams, the owners of the claims.
Sebastian Jones of the Klondike Active Transport and Trails Society said the suspension is a relief, for now.
"It's kind of a strange occurrence," Jones said. "We don't know what [the YESAB decision] means. The project hasn't been withdrawn."
Many residents steadfastly oppose the plan, saying the proposed mine would destroy cross-country skiing trails and disturb a greenbelt corridor for wildlife on the Dome.
"Whenever you have a placer mining project, there are always going to be environmental impacts," Jones said.
Controversial from the start
Another mine project by Carey is also on the Dome and has also been controversial. The Slinky Mine is near a residential area on land that was zoned for new housing development. But the mineral claims predate the expansion of Dawson's municipal boundary to encompass the area.
Area residents were also angered by a deal between the Yukon government, the City of Dawson and Carey to re-route the Dome Road so Carey could access deposits located underneath the original roadway. That project cost the Yukon government $1.3 million.
Dawson City Mayor Wayne Potoroka acknowledges the Dome projects are contentious.
"This really speaks to the lack of clarity around how to deal with these operations in a reasonable and respectful manner," he said.