Rejection of controversial project ‘a pretty hard blow,’ says Yukon miner (CBC News North – July 19, 2018)

Second application to mine claims near Judas Creek rejected for Yukon miner

Nicolai Goeppel said he’s ready to throw in the towel after his second attempt to operate a placer mine south of Whitehorse was rejected by the Yukon government. “I really don’t know if it’s worth putting any more money and time into it,” Goeppel said.

Goeppel’s initial application for a placer mine in the Judas Creek area was rejected by the government in 2016, largely because of a potential negative impact on the Carcross caribou herd.

His second application reduced the number of claims to be mined from 45 to 15, the period of mining was reduced from 10 years to five years, and the timing of the operations was adjusted to minimize impact on the caribou.

But that still wasn’t good enough for the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB). The board recommended the project be killed, and the Yukon government has agreed.

YESAB’s review said the Carcross herd, currently estimated to consist of about 775 caribou, is vulnerable, and that one of its biggest threats is loss of habitat. Goeppel’s claims overlap with critical habitat area and a migratory route for the herd, according to YESAB.

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