With the closure of two mines in the past year, the Yukon Territory’s mineral resource and exploration economy hasn’t been very robust and may suffer more without intervention. However, the Yukon government is now providing $900,000 to exploration companies for a three-year investment development and recruitment programme.
The Yukon Mining Alliance (YMA), a network of companies specializing in mining, development and exploration in the territory, will work on what Economic Development Minister Stacey Hassard calls “strategically planned investment attraction initiatives” meant to bring new mineral companies to the Yukon. The YMA will contribute $100,000 to the initiative.
Board members of the YMA include the presidents of major, active exploration companies in the region, such as Kaminak Gold Corp., Alexco Resource Corp., Wellgreen Platinum and Victoria Gold Corp. The money will be used for advertising and promotion, run by the YMA, meant to “position the territory for the rebound of mineral commodities,” according to a news release from the territory’s government. In other words, the government and the YMA hope to make the territory more attractive to mineral resource companies looking for new opportunities.
Spokespeople from the YMA did not return requests for comments regarding the programme.
The past year has not seen positive growth in the mining and exploration industry. The first mine to close was the Wolverine Mine, run by Yukon Zinc. This was followed by the fall closure of the Cantung Mine run by North American Tungsten.
While no new closures are planned for the territory, the remaining active mine in the Yukon, the Minto Mine, could see layoffs in April 2016, affecting the local economy even further. Capstone Mining warned in January 2016 that if copper prices continue at their current levels, the company would have to lay off employees. No relief seems to be in sight for the economy given current conditions.