Yukon companies find minerals but seek investors, gov't says

Various mineral discoveries have been made in the territory, but some feel investment is lagging.

Mineral discoveries have been made in the territory, but some feel investment is lagging

An ATAC Resources base on the Rackla property in central Yukon. (Cathie Archbould)

The Yukon government says spending on mineral exploration in the territory this year will top $100 million — but some officials believe the territory's potential should be attracting even more interest. 

The estimated $114 million in spending this year would be about about the same as last year.

But Scott Casselman, the territory's director of mineral services, said it should be higher considering what's being found.

"So, based on the fact that we've got very good discoveries going on, I think that will draw interest in the territory. Hopefully we'll see some more major mining company investment in the territory," said Casselman.

He blames, in part, the cannabis industry which has attracted billions of dollars of investment.

"Which is quite a bit of money and it's sucking a lot of the investment dollars away," Casselman said.

Scott Casselman, director of mineral services for the Yukon government, says mineral discoveries should be attracting more investor interest. (Dave Croft/CBC)

Jeff Bond, the manager for surficial geology in the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources, said placer mining, however, has seen a resurgence in Yukon.

He said production in 2018 will be about the same as last year when almost $100 million dollars' worth of placer gold was reported.

Bond said adjusted for inflation, "this is the highest production we've really seen since 1984."

Casselman noted that the combined expenditures on mineral exploration and mine development, plus revenue from the now shut-down Minto Mine, and from placer mining, adds up to about $700 million for 2018.

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