WHITEHORSE – Amid rising concerns from industry, the Official Opposition is calling on the Yukon Liberal Government to extend their consultation on proposed changes to the Quartz Mining Act to November 30, 2018.
The government notified a number of mining stakeholders about the upcoming changes and launched a consultation period that ends on August 21st, in the middle of peak season for mining in the territory.
“The Yukon Party has always been a supporter of the free-entry system as the preferred method to acquire and register mineral claims in the territory,” said Scott Kent, Official Opposition Mining Critic. “These changes have the potential to significantly alter the way in which claims are staked on public land in the Yukon and something that has such far-reaching effects deserves an appropriate amount of time for comment by individuals active in the mining industry.”
As stated by the Yukon Chamber of Mines, the government has also indicated that they will not be sharing draft legislation with industry prior to tabling it in the Yukon Legislative Assembly. This comes only weeks after the Klondike Placer Miners’ Association cited the government treating miners as an ‘afterthought’ when consulting on important issues such as Land Use Planning, Class 1 Notification and Heritage Assessments.
“The Yukon Liberals ran their 2016 campaign on a tag line of ‘Be Heard’. Unfortunately this is just another example of them going back on this commitment by consulting during a time of year that they will receive limited responses.” added Kent.
By extending it to November 30th a workshop could be held at the annual Geoscience Forum in Whitehorse which would provide the greatest number of responses on the proposed amendments.
- During the 2018 Spring Sitting of the Legislature the CBC reported a leaked cabinet document from December 2017 indicated the government was going to be amending the Quartz Act. This means that the government could have consulted on these changes as early as December instead of at the last minute during the busy mining season.