Yukon’s Kudz Ze Kayah project to proceed to regulatory stage
By Adam FreillConstruction Industrial
The governments of Canada and Yukon have reached a decision that will allow the mine development proposal to continue on path to possible approval.
The Canadian and Yukon governments have announced a joint decision that concludes the environmental and socio-economic assessment process for the Kudz Ze Kayah project, which proposes to create a mine development in the territory. The project is now cleared to proceed to the regulatory phase.
The Kudz Ze Kayah Project, proposed by BMC Minerals, would be an open-pit and underground silver, copper, gold, lead and zinc mine development located approximately 115 kilometres southeast of Ross River, Yukon. With global demand forecasted for exponential growth for products such as solar panels, fuel cells, wind turbines and electric vehicles, the minerals to be mined are viewed as essential to bringing many of these green technologies to the market. Work will next advance to the permitting phase for the project. If approved, the project is expected to have a construction period of approximately two years followed by an estimated mine life of 10 years.
The decision document issued varies the project terms and conditions recommended by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board, following a screening under the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act. The joint decision was made following Indigenous consultations and full consideration of the potential impacts of the project on the Finlayson caribou herd, as well as through the development of varied terms and conditions and additional caribou data analysis.
One of the additional conditions in the decision document includes the establishment of a Finlayson Caribou Herd Oversight Committee with representation from Kaska First Nations to provide input into the next phases of the project. The Oversight Committee is proposed to be established by the end of 2022 to consider results of project-specific data collection, effects monitoring, mitigation and adaptive management as well as provide input and make recommendations on the range-wide management of the Finlayson Caribou Herd.
“On behalf of the Government of Yukon, I am pleased to see another responsible mine project advance to the regulatory phase where continued work with Yukon First Nations and communities will help inform the future of this project,” stated Yukon’s Premier, Sandy Silver. “The territory continues to shine as a jurisdiction worthy of investment. The proposed Kudz Ze Kayah project would inject up to $720 million into the Yukon and Canadian economy over the course of the two-year construction phase and estimated 10-year mine life. It would also provide hundreds of construction and operation jobs, and provide royalties to the territorial and federal governments of up to $620 million.”