Historically the Yukon has been known for its mining industries, with many economic deposits of lead, zinc, silver, copper, tungsten, molybdenum, nickel, iron , coal , and gold. The area still possesses an abundance of mineral wealth and lays claim to 2,600 known mineral occurrences and over 80 mineral deposits boasting significant resources.
The Yukon territorial boundaries resulted from a population influx during the famous Klondike gold rush in 1898, although the land was originally acquired from the Hudson's Bay Company in 1870. In total, about 12.5 million ounces of gold (about 390 tonnes) have been taken from the Klondike area in the century since first discovery; however, industry observers believe significant resource potential remains undetected.
The Department of Energy, Mines and Resources for the Yukon indicate an excellent potential for resource exploration and discovery, and the region is still relatively underdeveloped with existing mineral claims covering only 3.6 percent of Yukon land. Since 1999, the total annual exploration expense for projects in the Yukon has increased from slightly below $10 million to a high of just under $140 million in 2007. The Department indicates that at least 32 advanced level primary gold projects are in various stages of operation.
The Yukon ranked fourth out of fifty-one in Fraser Institute's Survey of Mining Companies: 2010 Mid-Year Update. Investors may be familiar with the survey based on the opinions of mining executives representing 429 mineral exploration and development companies on the overall investment climate. The update was conducted following the global recovery in commodity prices and the introduction of new regulatory hurdles and taxation in many jurisdictions. In the most recent edition, the Yukon gained 11.6 points, which moved it considerably from thirteenth in the previous adjusted 2009/10 survey to a prominent spot within the top five.
This week the Yukon Gold Mining Alliance (YGMA) has been hosting an e-conference to provide information for current and potential investors along with a number of gold miners and stakeholders active in the region. This inaugural “eYukon Room” is an online, two-day mining investment show highlighting all aspects of the investment industry, designed to provide investment and networking opportunities in publicly traded mineral exploration and mining companies alongside a conference program with leading speakers and experts on the Yukon.
During a recent interview with Gold Investing News, President of the Yukon Room, Janet Lee indicated her enthusiasm and positive thoughts for the conference, with a competitive advantage for investors gaining exposure to highly qualified and “knowledgeable speakers no one really gets much access to outside of analysts - Mike Burke, Shawn Ryan, Premier Fentie plus a focused in-depth look at a region provides more knowledge for investors to better understand the emerging opportunity. Preliminary registration numbers indicated a strong interest from the investment community, by far exceeding expectations. Janet Lee indicated, “We hoped for 500 delegates, knowing this format is of interest to qualified investors, and we are over 700 with more marketing to follow over the final week.” Attracting delegates that are focused is a considerable benefit, resulting in more efficient and valuable information delivery, and one which may see other areas attempting to simulate in the future.
The YGMA is a marketing consortium of qualified Yukon exploration, development & mining companies committed to increasing awareness of the Yukon and member companies in the capital market. In order to qualify, mining and exploration companies must have a national instrument compliant (NI 43-101) resource estimate, and also have been engaged in meaningful exploration in the Yukon for any five of the preceding seven-year period. The alliance's focus is on metals including gold, silver and copper.
Companies must comply with a best practices corporate sustainability policy including community relations, environmental responsibility and labor relations. As the result of 2 additional members announced last week, the eight member constituents of the YGMA are Alexco Resource Corp (TSE:AXR) (AMEX:AXU), AM Gold Inc. (CVE:AMG), Capstone Mining Corp (CVE:CS), Copper Ridge Explorations Inc. (CVE:KRX), Golden Predator Corp (TSE:GPD), Kaminak Gold (CVE:KAM), Northern Freegold Resources Ltd (CVE:NFR) and Victoria Gold Corp (CVE:VIT).
Recent regional discovery
The White Gold District lies within the Tintina Gold Belt, a 200 kilometer wide and 1,200 kilometer long arc extending from northern British Columbia into southwest Alaska. A geological model for the White Gold occurrences has not yet clearly been identified because the geology of the latest discovery appears distinct from other discoveries in the Tintina gold belt.
This could be significant because it might mean broad areas that had seen scant attention during past exploration efforts could now become the focus of intensive work programs that have a very real potential for success. Some companies that have been active in the area include:
- Kinross (TSE:K) (NYSE:KGC)
- Kaminak Gold (CVE:KAM)
- Stina Resources (CVE:SQA)
- Hinterland Metals (CVE:HMI)
- Pacific Ridge Exploration (CVE:PEX)
- Northern Tiger (CVE:NTR)
- Central Resources (CVE:CBC)