Energy, Mines and Resources

Minerals

Mining and Geology Facts

  1. 400,000 – estimate for the number of 2011 soil samples collected in the White Gold area.
    2011 was the most active year for Yukon mineral exploration in the territory’s history.

  2. 4,3,2,1 – respectively the number of hotels, grocery stores, communication companies and vehicle leasing companies utilized in a typical exploration program.

    Many Yukon businesses are thriving because of exploration projects. A typical exploration project utilizes:

    4 hotels
    1 bottled water company
    3 grocery stores
    1 catering company
    3 laboratories
    3 aviation companies
    1 tire supplier
    2 auto parts and supply companies
    1 vehicle leasing company
    4 fuel suppliers
    5 construction equipment suppliers
    2 heavy equipment companies
    2 communications companies
    1 surveying company
    1 road engineering company
    3 freight and trucking companies
    1 storage company
    4 other industrial supply companies

  3. 25 million ounces – the amount of gold currently* estimated for all known hardrock deposits in Yukon. Nearly half of this is contained in the Casino deposit north of Carmacks. *new discoveries will change this estimate over the coming months and years.

  4. Gold, silver, lead, zinc, tungsten – gold is leading the exploration expenditures but silver, lead, zinc and tungsten are leading the development expenditures.

  5. 140 placer mines directly employ 410 people
    In 2010, there were approximately 140 active placer mining operations, directly employing approximately 400 people.

  6. Klondike, Mayo, Carmacks and Kluane – regions with active placer mining
    The placer industry remains mostly family or small business based operations.  Active operations are occurring not only in the gold bearing creeks in the Dawson Gold fields but also in the Kluane region, Mayo and Carmacks areas of Yukon.

  7. A stadium full – amount of ore mined at Keno since the early 1900s
    A 1986 estimate of 1,621,234 m³ of ore was mined in the Keno area since the early 1900s — equivalent the volume of Toronto’s Skydome with the roof closed. The silver in the ore would have filled a sphere 11.4 m in diameter — about the size of a hot air balloon. Volumes of lead and zinc in the ore compare to the approximate size of a large 2 storey house for each metal. 

    Placer and hardrock – two different types of gold deposits; two different industries

    Gold is broadly found in two classes of deposit:

    • placer deposits which are formed when bedrock is weathered and gold is concentrated through river processes, and
    • hardrock gold which is found within bedrock and is formed either during or after the formation of the bedrock. Two typical forms of hardrock gold deposits are vein deposits (e.g. Mt. Skukum Mine) which are usually mined by underground methods and disseminated or veinlet deposits (e.g. Eagle Gold Mine) which are usually mined by open pit methods.

    Regardless of whether hardrock gold occurs in veins or is disseminated, it usually is found with quartz and/or calcite and various sulfide minerals such as pyrite and arsenopyrite. The association between gold and pyrite can be both a blessing, in that pyrite can be used as an exploration tool for finding gold, and a curse, in that many a prospector and geologist has been fooled into thinking that the pyrite itself is actually gold. Hence the slang term for pyrite is Fool’s Gold.

  8. Tropical Grey Mountain Limestone – the limestone that makes up Grey Mountain was formed in the tropics and moved north by plate tectonics.
    The Whitehorse area used to be tropical. We know this because of formation of limestone reefs.  Grey Mountain used to be one of these reefs. It has been uplifted and transported to its present location through plate tectonics. Its original setting was along the edge of a continental shelf.

  9. South – direction the Yukon River used to flow before the last ice age.
    The headwaters of the Yukon River are within sight of the Pacific but the ocean drains over 3000km north to the Bering Sea. The river presently drains north because its original south-directed drainage through the Takhini and Alsek valleys was blocked during the last ice age, forcing the river to reverse its flow direction.