Energy, Mines and Resources


Government, Board and Council Roles and Responsibilities

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Government of Yukon

Department of Energy, Mines and Resources (EMR)
The Mineral Resources branch regulates exploration and mining activity and encourages its development. This includes the following functions for placer, hard rock, coal and dredging operations:

  • issuing mineral titles, including fee collection, rentals and royalties, approval of assessment work and providing claim maps;
  • permitting/licensing of proposed exploration and mining developments;
  • providing mine coordination support to facilitate development projects; and
  • supporting training, education and policy/ program review and development and other initiatives.

There are Mining Recorder Offices in Dawson City, Mayo, Watson Lake and Whitehorse, each covering district areas. These offices provide information and advice on how to stake and which areas are open for staking. The Mining Recorder Offices process all mining land use applications, issue and maintain mineral titles, review work filed for assessment credit and sell claim maps

The Yukon Geological Survey provides the geoscience and technical information base required to enable stewardship and sustainable development of the territory’s energy, mineral and land resources, including:

  • Scientific and technical information on the geology and mineral deposits of the territory; and
  • Baseline geoscience information in support of oil and gas exploration and development.

Assessment and Abandoned Mines mandate is to carry out Yukon government responsibilities with respect to Type II sites under the Devolution Transfer Agreement. The term “Type II” refers to major mine sites with the potential for unfunded environmental liabilities at the time of closure.

The Client Services and Inspections branch provide field services and enforcement for Energy, Mines and Resources with offices located throughout Yukon. It is responsible for activities that range from inspections, to issuing some timber permits (for cutting up to 1000 m3 of timber) to emergency response.

The Lands branch is responsible for land use permitting for a variety of uses occurring off mineral claims, including site clearing or earth work, new roads, trails or access, clearing or installing utility right-of ways, conducting geo-technical or hydrological studies, and issuing quarry permits for sand, gravel and topsoil. The branch is also responsible for disposing of public land through sale or lease.

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Other Government Departments

Department of Economic Development
Economic Development is responsible for business development, trade and investment opportunities, and partnerships for the development of the Yukon economy.

Department of Environment
Environment is responsible for water resources, wildlife, special waste, conservation.

Executive Council Office
Executive Council is responsible for land claims, statistics, Yukon Water Board and development and assessment.

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Federal Government
Environment Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada are the two main federal departments in Yukon that are involved in the review of project proposals, assessments and regulating quartz mining activities in Yukon.

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Boards and Councils
Several boards and committees, most created under the First Nations Umbrella Final Agreement  462 KB, manage Yukon natural resources. In addition to providing recommendations to the government, these public bodies help in the planning, prioritizing and managing specific areas of interest, providing a cohesive approach to governance of the territory.

Dispute Resolution Board
The mandate of the Dispute Resolution Board, under Chapter 26 of the Umbrella Final Agreement  462 KB, is to appoint mediators and arbitrators, and to establish rules and procedures governing mediation and arbitration. This board provides a comprehensive dispute resolution process to resolve disputes which arise out of the interpretation, administration or implementation of settlement agreements or settlement legislation, and to facilitate the out-of-court resolution of disputes in a non-adversarial and informal atmosphere. 

Renewable Resources Councils (RRCs)
Chapter 16 of the Yukon First Nations’ Final Agreements  462 KB primary instrument for local renewable resources management in that area. Each Renewable Resources Council makes recommendations to the Yukon government’s Minister of Environment, the affected First Nation(s), the Fish and Wildlife Management Board and the Salmon Sub-Committee, on any matter related to fish and wildlife.

Yukon Surface Rights Board
Under Chapter 8 of the Umbrella Final Agreement  462 KB, the primary role of the Surface Rights Board is to resolve access disputes between those owning or having an interest in land (surface rights holders) and others with access rights to the land. The Surface Rights Board gets involved in disputes when the parties are unable to reach an agreement and a party applies to the Surface Rights Board. If an agreement between parties is not reached, the Surface Rights Board issues an order that establishes the terms and conditions of a right of access (if any) to the land. An order from this board has the same legal effect as an order of the Supreme Court of Yukon.

Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board
Under Chapter 12 of the Umbrella Final Agreement  462 KB, the Yukon government, Canadian government and the Council for Yukon First Nations were required to bring forward legislation to provide a single environmental and socio-economic assessment process for projects under federal, territorial or First Nation jurisdiction. The YESAA legislation created the Board and its six Designated Offices that administer the Act and regulations.

Yukon Fish And Wildlife Management Board
Under Chapter 16 of the Umbrella Final Agreement  462 KB, the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board is the primary instrument of fish and wildlife management in Yukon. It makes recommendations to the Minister of Environment, Yukon First Nations and Renewable Resource Councils on all matters related to fish and wildlife management, legislation, research, policies and programs.

Yukon Land Use Planning Council
Under Chapter 11 of the Umbrella Final Agreement  462 KB, established the Yukon Land Use Planning Council which makes recommendations to government and each of the affected Yukon First Nations on the land use planning policies, goals, priorities, planning regions, and the general terms of reference for Land Use Planning Commissions.

Yukon Water Board
Chapter 14 of the Umbrella Final Agreement  462 KB and the Waters Act sets out the requirements for the Yukon Water Board. The YWB's powers cover a range of discretionary and non-discretionary authorities. These authorities include: issuing or amending a Water License; holding license application hearings; regulating water use; prescribing information requirements; assigning a license; cancelling a license; and advising the Minister of the Executive Council Office on various water planning matters.

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