Energy, Mines and Resources

Minerals

Amendments to the Quartz Mining Act

The Government of Yukon is proposing to amend the Quartz Mining Act to enable further reconciliation with First Nations and to advance remediation of some of Yukon’s abandoned Type II mine sites. The amendments intend to:

  • advance reconciliation with First Nations by providing Yukon government with an additional tool in the Quartz Mining Act that would allow the staking of quartz mineral claims on specific lands that are withdrawn from staking to a First Nation or their designated entity. This will provide additional opportunities for economic development and enable a First Nation to actively engage in Yukon’s mining sector; and,
  • increase opportunities for the remediation of some of Yukon’s abandoned Type II mine sites by providing a purchaser sole access to the mineral rights along with the obligation to remediate the site.

  
The amendments will not affect:

  • existing claims or work under the Placer Mining Act;
  • public lands that are available for staking;
  • public lands that are withdrawn from staking due solely to legal proceedings or regional land use planning; or,
  • permanently protected lands such as parks, historical sites, habitat protection areas and cemeteries.

It is not the intent of these amendments to enable any party to request a withdrawal for the express purpose of securing sole rights to the mineral rights on public lands.


Public engagement

Public engagement was held during the summer of 2018. Written comments and submissions were accepted until August 21, 2018. The public engagement period is now closed. In September, we will publish a What We Heard document that summarizes the input we received and how that input will influence the proposed amendments.


More about the amendments

The proposed amendments will enable Yukon government to consider and respond to specific requests from a First Nation or their designated entity for approval to stake claims on land that is currently withdrawn and for the purpose for advancing reconciliation with First Nations.

This will provide the mining industry with additional opportunities to collaborate with First Nations to access mineral rights that they would not be able to otherwise. As many of these lands have been withdrawn for decades, it represents a potentially significant opportunity for economic benefit.

Additionally, the amendments will allow the Yukon government to further advance remediation of some of Yukon’s abandoned Type II mine sites by providing a purchaser sole access to the mineral rights along with the obligation to remediate the site.

This remediation and development work should also enhance economic opportunities for First Nations and local businesses during the planning, construction and post-remediation monitoring of the project.

These amendments will not affect the free entry system. The Quartz Mining Act currently enables the Yukon government to make prohibition orders restricting entry on the land for the purpose of staking a mineral claim. The Act also enables the Yukon government to set out the terms and conditions, if any, on which entry for the purpose of staking a claim is permitted. These proposed amendments will provide more clarity to the terms and conditions under which the Yukon government can allow entry for the purposes of staking claims, such as to advance reconciliation with First Nations and to further remediation of abandoned Type II mine sites. 

It is not the intent of these amendments to enable any party to request a withdrawal for the express purpose of securing sole rights to the mineral rights on public lands.  Requests would have to clearly demonstrate and promote further reconciliation between Yukon government and First Nations.

The amendments are consistent with our commitment to ensure that a responsible mining industry can thrive in Yukon over the long-term. Claims on these withdrawn lands must be staked, recorded and administered the same as any other claim under the Quartz Mining Act.


Resources


Have further questions?

For questions about the amendment to the Quartz Mining Act, email QMAinput@gov.yk.ca or phone: 867.456.3896  or toll free in Yukon: 1.800.661.0408, ext. 3896.