Mineral exploration company scales back Yukon spending due to COVID-19
White Gold Corp. says it's following safety procedures to protect the health of workers
One of Yukon's most active mineral exploration companies is scaling back its projects this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
White Gold Corp. owns more than 21,000 mining claims in the Dawson City area, covering 423,000 ha.
It's spending about $4 million on mineral exploration this summer, said company president David D'Onofrio. That's down from $13 million last year, he said.
"You know, we obviously wanted to ensure our plans were responsible and kept the safety of staff, partners, contractors, as paramount and the priority," D'Onofrio said.
He said White Gold itself will have two geologists in the territory. Most of the workers at a base camp and at bush camps are hired by Yukon contractors.
D'Onofrio said the size of their crews have been cut and they are following COVID-19 protocols and directives from the territorial government.
"It is smaller in size than the last couple of years," he said of this summer's program.
"But nonetheless I think some of the focal areas are following on the recent discoveries in the last year or two."
So despite scaling back, he said, this summer's results could still have a big impact in terms of advancing those discoveries.
The company is concentrating on five promising properties, he said.
They include drilling for samples at Ryan's Surprise. That's just two kilometres west of the Golden Saddle deposit which the company estimates has more than 1.5 million ounces of gold, D'Onofrio said.
He said it's 10 kilometres from the QV property which has also shown promise. The company hopes these three areas will combine to create an impressive target for mining, he said.
Another area to be drilled is the Hen property, also south of Dawson City. D'Onofrio said it's typical of the White Gold properties in that it's using modern mineral exploration techniques on ground that's already seen extensive placer mining in the past.