“How A Yukon Mine Left Behind A $35-Million Clean-Up Bill”

“The territorial government is on the hook to clean up the Wolverine mine after its owner went bankrupt. A system in place to secure funds for remediation throughout a mine’s life should have prevented this scenario, but it didn’t — and that doesn’t bode well for future mine clean-ups”.

“Yukon’s Wolverine mine, which primarily extracted zinc before it closed in 2015, has a storied history of failure.

It opened and closed with only a few years of production, due to plummeting stocks. It left a flooded underground shaft and contaminated water in its wake. And in 2018, the Yukon government was forced to step in to start environmental monitoring as the mine site had been neglected by Yukon Zinc, owned by the private Chinese company Jinduicheng Canada Resources Corp.

Now the bill is growing every year to keep the Wolverine mine from polluting the landscape around it, the territory’s mine closure fund is drying up and its bankrupt owner has walked away — in a situation one mining analyst says reveals flaws in Yukon’s bonding system for mines. “

Julien Gignac reports for The Narwhal June 9, 2020.