By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Alexco, JDS buy historical Yukon gold mine

Alexco Environmental uniquely qualified to remediate site

 

Last updated 5/17/2019 at 5:14am

Yukon Government

The past producing Mount Nansen gold mine in the Yukon was abandoned in 1999. Alexco Environmental Group and JDS Energy and Mining has acquired this historical operation from the federal government.

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) has sold the abandoned Mount Nansen Mine to Alexco Environmental Group and JDS Energy and Mining.

Mount Nansen is the site of a historical gold and silver mine that was owned by BYG Natural Resources Inc. Unable to meet the requirements of its water license, BYG ceased mining and appointed a receiver who abandoned the property in 1999.

Situated about 60 kilometers (37 miles) west of the community of Carmacks and within the traditional territory of the Little Salmon-Carmacks First Nation, the water quality leaving the historical mine and the stability of the tailings facility and open-pit concern local residents.

Following BYG's departure, the federal government took immediate control of the site and began implementing care and maintenance operations at the abandoned mine.

Committed to working with territorial and indigenous partners on solutions that protect the health and safety of northerners, the Canadian government May 6 announced it has entered into a unique arrangement that allows Alexco and JDS to pursue future work at the mine while obligating them to remediate contamination from past mining activities at the site.


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As a first step, the purchaser - in close collaboration with Canada, the Yukon government and Little Salmon-Carmacks First Nations - is required to immediately accelerate work on the remediation plan that had been initiated by the Yukon government and prepare it for submission to the environmental regulatory process.

The federal government says it will work with the purchaser to ensure the site is remediated in accordance with the shared objectives of the three governments.

In 2012, the federal, territorial and First Nations governments agreed on a preferred remediation option that includes backfilling the previously mined pit with tailings and contaminated material, install a cover on the tailings, remove the tailings dam and restore the valley.

The three parties signed a letter of understanding confirming their selection of the remediation option and designs for this option are about 30 percent complete.

It will be up to Alexco Environmental and JDS to complete the design and submit it to the Yukon government for permitting.

"As the regulator, we will ensure remediation activities recognize local needs, local interests and lead to local solutions," said Yukon Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Ranj Pillai.

The costs to implement the remediation plan is to be paid by the federal government.

"Collaboration has led to an effective sales process that will clean up the Mount Nansen Mine site and ensure Yukoners and the Little Salmon-Carmacks First Nation benefit from this important project," said Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Carolyn Bennett." Strong partnership is our greatest asset. We look forward to continuing our work together, moving the project forward to environmental assessment and then remediation."


Alexco Environmental Group, which provides a broad range of professional environmental consulting services focused on environmental and socioeconomic assessments related to the mining industry, is uniquely qualified to remediate the site.

Additionally, Alexco Environmental executes project-related environmental remediation services including design, installation and operation of water and soils treatment systems at historic mine properties.

The sale includes 56 mining claims, as well as the equipment and infrastructure from the previous mining.

Alexco Environmental is a subsidiary of Alexco Resource Corp. which is currently advancing the restart of mining on its Keno Hill Silver District project in the Yukon. In addition, JDS brings a diverse set of skilled and highly experienced mining and construction professionals to the Mount Nansen project.

The purchasers and the federal government will enter in to a remediation and security agreement that requires Alexco Environmental and JDS to remediate the site and provide employment, training, and project benefits to the Little Salmon-Carmacks First Nation, Village of Carmacks and Yukoners.


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The current plan is to have the site remediated within 10 years of the sale.

"After almost three decades of concern and constant pressure and monitoring from Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation government, the citizens of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation will be pleased to see the finalization of the agreements that will lead to the remediation of the abandoned BYG mine site at Mt. Nansen," said Little Salmon-Carmacks First Nation Chief Russell Blackjack.

 

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