Purchaser will begin clean-up of contamination from past mining
May 6, 2019 – Whitehorse, YT – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
The Government of Canada is committed to working with territorial and Indigenous partners on solutions that protect the health and safety of Northerners, the environment, and also foster a prosperous future for Northern communities.
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, today announced the Yukon Supreme Court’s approval of the sale of the abandoned Mount Nansen Mine site. The unique arrangement with the purchaser, Alexco/JDS Group, allows the purchaser to pursue future work at the mine while obligating them to remediate contamination from past mining activities at the site.
This sale is the product of many years of collaborative work among the Government of Canada, the Yukon government, the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation and PricewaterhouseCoopers as the court-appointed receiver for the former owner of the mine. The sales agreement is a significant step towards the remediation of the site and ensuring the clean-up will benefit Yukoners and First Nations.
As a first step, the purchaser – in close collaboration with Canada, the Yukon government and Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nations – will 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. Going forward, Canada will work with the purchaser, the Yukon government and Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation to oversee and fund the remediation project, ensuring the site is remediated in accordance with the shared objectives of the three governments.
“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. Strong partnership is our greatest asset. We look forward to continuing our work together, moving the project forward to environmental assessment and then remediation.”
The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
“The Government of Yukon is committed to the successful remediation of the abandoned Mount Nansen mine site. We will work with the Government of Canada, the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, and Alexco/JDS Group on achieving a timely and responsible clean-up and on delivering economic opportunities to the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation and our local business community. As the regulator, we will ensure remediation activities recognize local needs, local interests and lead to local solutions.”
The Honourable Ranj Pillai,
Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources
“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. Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation’s Council, our Development Corporation and our Senior Staff have worked to ensure our future generations will be able to utilize this site once again for their traditional pursuits and values.”
Chief of Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation
The abandoned Mount Nansen site is a former gold and silver mine located in the traditional territory of the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, near the Village of Carmacks. As a Type II Mine site, Canada accepted responsibility for its existing liabilities in the 2012 Yukon Devolution Transfer Agreement.
The Mount Nansen sale process began in 2016, with approval by the Supreme Court of Yukon and led by PricewaterhouseCoopers, in its capacity as court-appointed Interim Receiver and Receiver-Manager of the mine’s former operator.
The transfer of the property to the purchaser will formally occur once all conditions of the sale are final, including transferring the care and maintenance water licence for the site to the purchaser.
The purchaser and Canada will enter in to a Remediation and Security Agreement. This requires the purchaser to remediate the site and provide employment, training, and project benefits to the Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation, the Village of Carmacks and Yukoners.
Also, as part of the sale process, Canada, the Yukon government, and Little Salmon/Carmacks First Nation developed and signed a project agreement outlining roles and responsibilities for each party, including details around topics such as consultations, decision-making authority and specific requirements for various project milestones.
The project objective is to have the site remediation completed within 10 years of the site sale.