Contaminated mine ‘an embarrassment to Canada’, says Yukon judge – by Paul Tukker (CBC News North – January 18, 2017)

Supreme Court justice cites ‘unscrupulous and unchecked profiteering’ at BYG’s Mount Nansen mine

A Yukon judge has delivered a strongly-worded “wake up call” to Canadian taxpayers, who are now on the hook for another expensive mine cleanup in the territory.

Yukon Supreme Court justice Ron Veale approved a clean up plan for the abandoned Mount Nansen mine site, last spring — to be paid for by Ottawa — but issued his written decision this week.

He used the opportunity to lambaste the mine’s former owner, Toronto firm, BYG Resources, for an “unscrupulous history of … operational mismanagement” that left a big, toxic mess for government to deal with. “This case stands as a painful reminder of the lasting and egregious damage that unscrupulous and unchecked profiteering can bring about in the mining sector.

It is an embarrassment to Canada, Yukon and the responsible mining community,” Veale’s decision reads. “It is my opinion that an account of BYG’s historical activity in the Yukon should be brought to the attention of the federal and territorial taxpayers, who remain fiscally responsible for remediation efforts.”

‘Raping and pillaging’ Yukon resources

BYG began mining at the Mount Nansen site, about 180 kilometres north of Whitehorse, in 1996, but then closed shop just three years later after being charged with several environmental violations (the company was guilty of “raping and pillaging” the territory’s resources, the Yukon Supreme Court found in 2007).

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