Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Yukon Premier Sandy Silver announced the news of investment to support Yukon mine development at a press conference this past weekend. A combined C$360 million in federal and territorial funding will be used to improve road access in two mineral-rich areas of Canada’s Yukon territory.
The announcement was made at a Saturday (September 2) press conference during Justin Trudeau’s first visit to the Yukon as prime minister. The federal government will contribute C$247,381,000 to the project, said Trudeau, while the Yukon government will provide C$112,802,000.
Called the Yukon Resource Gateway Project, the initiative will focus on the Dawson Range in Central Yukon and the Nahanni Range Road in southeast Yukon. It will help upgrade over 650 km of road and build or replace numerous bridges, culverts and stream crossings.
The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) applauds the investment “in critical infrastructure that will greatly assist the territory in seizing growth opportunities in the mining industry.
“Two MAC members have projects in the region: Goldcorp’s Coffee project and Western Copper and Gold’s Casino project. These projects will contribute billions in new investment in the territory, and will create thousands of direct and indirect jobs.”
“This collaboration between both levels of government is exactly the strategic action needed to capitalize on the significant mineral potential in the Yukon and across Canada’s North. In turn, sustainable mineral development will help grow the economy, and contribute to building healthy and vibrant local and Indigenous communities,” stated Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, MAC. “We thank the Prime Minister and the Yukon Premier for their leadership and we hope this serves as an example of what can be replicated to great success across the northern regions of the country.”
Infrastructure plays a critical role in the industry’s competitiveness and Canada’s ability to attract new mining investments against other countries. At the same time, the Canadian mining industry’s growth opportunities are increasingly located in areas where infrastructure is severely lacking or does not exist. A recent study found that the infrastructure deficit across the territories and northern areas of the provinces has been inhibiting sustainable mining development, despite the significant mineral potential that exists in these regions. The study found that it costs up to six times more to explore, and more than double to build a mine in remote and northern Canada compared to southern regions of the country.