Yukon shows mining commitment at AME
Territory highlights the potential of its mining-centric goals North of 60 Mining News - February 2, 2024
Last updated 2/1/2024 at 1:51pm
Yukon Premier and Minister of Economic Development Ranj Pillai and top officials in the territory leveraged the Association for Mineral Exploration's annual Roundup conference in Vancouver, Canada, as a platform to highlight the territory as a secure and stable investment jurisdiction with a wealth of mineral potential, as well as to promote the essential role of Yukon First Nations governments in resource development.
A premier assemblage for thousands of geoscientists, prospectors, financiers, investors, suppliers and Indigenous partners, AME Roundup is "where deals are made, talent is discovered, and trends are set" in the world of mineral exploration.
This year, the Roundup saw its highest registration since pre-COVID days, with more than 6,200 attendees from 41 countries gathered to discuss the present state of mineral exploration and development worldwide, as well as the environmental and social destination mining must reach as it shifts toward more sustainable practices in the ongoing green energy transition.
While initially implemented to benefit British Columbia and its premier mining jurisdictions, the Roundup has grown over its 100-year tenure to include most of the forward-thinking miners of the world.
Yukon, B.C.'s legendary mining neighbor to the north, sees the clean energy transition as an opportunity to highlight its potential, and the major role it could play in a zero-carbon future.
"I was pleased to join members of the Yukon's mining industry and Yukon First Nations leadership at the AME Roundup and the Vancouver Resource Investment conferences," said Pillai. "Here in the Yukon, we acknowledge the pivotal role that mining plays in our economy and communities, and we understand that responsible mineral development can foster growth and support well-paying jobs for Yukoners while contributing to the global shift to a cleaner future."
Yukon steps forward
Premier Pillai and Yukon ministers spoke to conference attendees about recent government investments in strategic infrastructure, which play a pivotal role in supporting resource development across the territory.
These include improving access through the Yukon Resource Gateway Project, exploring the possibility of grid connection between the Yukon and British Columbia, and working with the Municipality of Skagway, Alaska, to help ensure that Yukon mining companies have access to tidewater for decades to come.
"Our government remains committed to working in partnership with industry and First Nations governments to strengthen the Yukon's position as a global leader in mineral exploration," said Pillai. "I encourage companies interested in doing business in the territory to sit down with Yukon First Nations governments to start that discussion."
Understanding the importance of the Indigenous people when developing natural resources on or around their ancestral homelands, Yukon's government has reiterated its commitment to working with First Nation governments to help ensure that the territory remains a leader in the global transition to a more responsible future of mining through strong environmental stewardship and governance structures.
"Roundup provides an opportunity to have face-to-face meetings with industry representatives and First Nations governments to showcase why our territory ranks as one of the most desirable mining jurisdictions in the world," said Yukon Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources John Streicker. "With a growing demand for critical minerals, mining also provides an opportunity for the territory to play a significant role in the clean energy transition. Our government remains committed to supporting a strong, sustainable, and responsible mining industry."
In addition to focusing on First Nations involvement, the Yukon deputy premier and minister responsible for the Women and Gender Equity Directorate, Jeanie McLean, spoke on inclusivity and representation of women as well as Two-Spirit persons in mining.
"As co-chair of the Yukon Advisory Committee (YAC) on MMIWG2S (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit) representing the Government of Yukon, it was an honour to join YAC co-chair Doris Bill and YAC member Toni Blanchard to bring together key stakeholders to discuss the role that the mining industry must play in ensuring dignity and justice for Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people," she said. "I want to commend the Yukon Chamber of Mines and Yukon Women in Mining for signing on to the territory's MMIWG2S strategy and implementation plan. This inclusion of industry partners demonstrates their commitment to the collective work we all must do to create healthy, safe and violence-free communities where Indigenous women, girls and Two-spirit+ Yukoners are respected, valued and treated equitably."
With sustainability comes conscientiousness, and with that comes a regard for all potential people that can contribute toward moving mining forward.
A growing number of mineral exploration and mining companies look beyond silver and gold, expanding their reach into minerals and metals critical to sustaining a future that is evergreen and will last for generations to come. Yukon hopes to become an example of this bright future.