First Nation in Yukon calls for halt of mining on its traditional territory after Eagle gold mine accident – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – July 4, 2024)

A First Nation in Yukon is calling for a stop to mining in its traditional territory as uncertainty swirls over the scale of environmental damage caused by the failure of a gold processing plant.

Giant piles of cyanide-laced rocks collapsed June 24 at a heap leach facility at the Eagle gold mine in central Yukon operated by Victoria Gold Corp., triggering a landslide that likely released toxic cyanide into the environment.

The rockslide, which satellite imagery shows to be more than 1,400 metres long by up to 370 metres wide, caused widespread damage to mine infrastructure including the heap leach facility.

Heap leaching involves stacking mined ore into outdoor piles and then sprinkling it with water laced with cyanide, which collects in a lined pond. The operation at the Eagle mine was designed to hold as much as 92 million tonnes of ore.

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