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Unremediated Yukon Asbestos Mine Poses Health Hazards, Flood Risk

“Clinton Creek doesn’t get the level of attention other major mine clean-ups in the territory do, but it could become a big problem, especially for a small Alaskan city downstream “

“An abandoned asbestos mine in a remote corner of Yukon has yet to be remediated 42 years after closing, and could pose a flood risk to anyone downstream, according to the federal government.

“Clinton Creek is literally on the edge of the map,” said Lewis Rifkind, mining analyst for the Yukon Conservation Society. The mine is on the western border of Yukon, about 100 kilometres northwest of Dawson City. “It’s out of sight, out of mind.”

Clinton Creek Mine opened in 1967 and is the only mine on record in the territory to extract asbestos — a mineral often used in construction materials, such as insulation, and fire-proof coating, until it was found to cause cancer when its microscopic fibres are breathed in. Asbestos gradually ceased to be used in the 1970s, though its use was only banned by the federal government in 2018.”

Julien Gignac reports for The Narwhal June 23, 2020.