An integrated regime governs placer mining in the Yukon to accommodate the policy, regulatory and legal requirements of First Nations and federal and territorial governments.
The regime is designed to balance the objectives of a sustainable Yukon placer mining industry with responsibility and environmental stewardship.
KPMA is proud to present the MARCH 2023 Placer Safety Manual
Developed with support from Worker’s Safety Compensation Board
Land Use Planning
The process for land use planning in the Yukon is described in Chapter 11 of the Umbrella Final Agreement (UFA). Regional Planning Commissions and processes have been established and land use planning in the Yukon has been set in motion.
To learn more abou the status of the various planning regions, please visit http://www.emr.gov.yk.ca/rlup/index.html for additional information.
Six of the eight Yukon Land Use Planning Regions, which are at varying phases within their planning process, contain established placer mining operations within them.
Placer camp on Barker Creek with a bounty of cabbages and other greens for the kitchen. Note the reclamation in the valley bottom, with forest fires along the mountainsides.
This image shows what a placer minesite can look like less than 10 years after work is complete. A1 Cats won a Leckie Award for their reclamation work on Dominion Creek in the late 2000’s.
Territorial Permitting – Water Board
As of April 1, 2003, the Yukon Government assumed responsibility for minerals administration and management from the federal government as a result of Devolution.
Activities associated to placer mining fall under the Environment Act regulated by the Environment Department and multiple Acts and Regulations under the Mineral Department of Energy, Mines and Resources (EMR).
Legislation regulated under EMR includes: Placer Mining Act, Placer Mining Land Use Regulation, Territorial Lands (Yukon) Act, Land Use Regulation, and Miners Lien Act.
Water use/deposit of waste into water is regulated under the Waters Act and Waters Regulation which is administered by the Yukon Water Board which is an independent tribunal process.
Working with First Nations
Eleven of the Yukon’s 14 First Nations have settled their land claims. Part of maintaining a sustainable placer mining industry in the territory requires building and maintaining relationships with First Nation governments to ensure ecological sustainability, social equity and economic vitality.
The KPMA continues to work closely with several Yukon First Nations in partnership on various initiatives to benefit our respective memberships and all Yukoners.
In 2020, the KPMA and community partner, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, cofunded several projects at the Robert Service School in Dawson. Projects included strings for musical instruments, camping gear, hallway murals and a new climbing wall and mural, seen here!
Training and Education
Coming soon… KPMA101!
Past courses made available by the KPMA to its members include:
“People Problems: How to Supervise Challenging Employees”, a “Crane Certification Course” and, “Driver Training and Airbrakes Endorsement”.
Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA)
The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Act (YESAA) came into force on May 13, 2003. The Act sets out a process to assess the environmental and socio-economic effects of projects and other activities in the Yukon or those that might affect the Yukon.
YESAA is a requirement of Chapter 12 of the Umbrella Final Agreement and Yukon First Nations Final Agreements.
The majority of all placer mining activities require an environmental assessment through the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board.
For more information, please visit yesab.ca.
Some YESAB Assessors learning about monitoring at Henry Gulch Placers in 2021.
Safety first! Check out this handsome guy with his safety-concious friends sporting KPMA high-vis hoodies. Contact us to purchase your own hoodie, handsome dog not for sale.
Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board (YWCHSB)
The Yukon placer mining industry is a unique industry, primarily composed of family-operated businesses with fewer than four employees.
Placer operations range in size from single operators to around 30 people on site. In 2016, there were 159 active mines and 37 placer exploration projects in the Yukon. Over 75 per cent of the placer operations are in the Dawson City area, with some operations also in Mayo, Haines Junction and near Whitehorse.
Until recently, few resources were available or developed specifically for the placer miner industry. Recent changes in legislation, regulations and increased liability require that placer miners become informed on what these changes mean to their operations and have a clear understanding of the liabilities and their responsibilities.
As such, the KPMA, in cooperation with the YWCHSB, has developed a safety program to help educate and improve the level of safety on our work sites within the placer industry in the Yukon.