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Snowline claims Leckie stewardship award

Honored for its cleanup and care as it explores Yukon's bounty North of 60 Mining News - November 28, 2023

In its few short years as an active explorer in the Yukon, Snowline Gold Corp. has progressed to monumental scales while understanding the importance of consciousness discovery and has thus been awarded the 2023 Robert E. Leckie Award for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship.

"I would like to thank the awards committee and to thank and congratulate Snowline's entire team –including our industry and First Nations partners-on this recognition of our ongoing efforts towards environmental stewardship and ultimately of the culture of integrity, accountability and respect that our team works so hard to instill," said Snowline Gold CEO Scott Berdahl.

Recognizing the various efforts and initiatives undertaken by Snowline, including progressive reclamation of its surface disturbances, drill pad site optimizations to minimize clearing, cleanup of a long-abandoned third-party exploration camp on its claims, and several projects launched in collaboration with Yukon Seed and Restoration – a Nacho Nyak Dun First Nation majority-owned environmental business – the awards committee felt dutybound to award the company for its care.

The awards committee comprises representatives from the Council of Yukon First Nations, the Yukon Chamber of Mines, the Klondike Placer Miner's Association, and the Government of Yukon. The award was presented on November 20 at the Yukon Geoscience convention in Whitehorse, Yukon.

Named after Robert "Bob" E. Leckie, a geographer and mining inspector who moved north from Alberta to serve in the Yukon's Mayo Mining District through the 1990s. Leckie's legacy stems from a passion for innovation and collaboration between governments and industry but also the development of progressive land use practices for mining and reclamation.

The Leckie Award is presented in up to three categories each year, with recognition for socially responsible practices, environmental stewardship, and innovation in mining in Canada's Yukon Territory.

"There is an irony underlying many mineral explorers working in the Yukon. Although we work in a development-focused industry, we are driven by a passion for the natural world, a passion that gets us out on the land and away from more conventional office-based work," said Berdahl. "As a company, we recognize the intrinsic value of a strong natural environment and the Yukon's wild spaces. We also recognize the importance and necessity of metals to modern society. Thus, we seek to find a balance, striving to lay the foundation for a strong local economy that can support healthy communities and high quality of life while ensuring the Yukon's vast wilderness can be enjoyed and relied upon for generations to come."

In addition to its cleanup and care efforts, Snowline's main camp is primarily powered by a 27.5-kilowatt solar array, which provides clean, on-site energy production that replaces and offsets the carbon emissions that would otherwise come from hydrocarbons.

The solar array and associated equipment are leased from the First Nations-owned Nacho Nyak Dun Development Corporation and are installed and maintained by the Yukon renewable energy company Solvest – a company that is working closely with the Tahltan First Nation to the east in British Columbia.

Snowline has also initiated key environmental baseline studies, including water quality, hydrology, and wildlife surveying at and near its Rogue project's Valley discovery from a very early stage in the exploration process.

"Our government is committed to supporting sustainable, responsible mining and mineral exploration across the Yukon," said Yukon's Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources John Streicker. "Congratulations to Snowline Gold Corporation for winning this year's Leckie Award, an honour that recognizes their values and commitment. The company's work near Mayo is an example of how exploration can be done in a way that promotes environmental stewardship and meaningful collaboration with First Nations partners."


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