Dec 4, 2020

Yukon rejects exploration road to Tiger Gold Deposit site

Dominic Ellis
3 min
ATAC Resources’ proposed access road plan rejected due to opposition from First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dunn and wildlife conservation bodies
ATAC Resources’ proposed access road plan rejected due to opposition from First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dunn and wildlife conservation bodies...

The Yukon government in Canada has rejected ATAC Resources’ proposal for an access road to the company’s Tiger Gold Deposit northeast of Keno City, citing reasons including opposition expressed by the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dunn (FNNND).

The stated reasons for the rejection of the proposal highlight the concerns of FNNND about the impact of a four-season road into the undeveloped area, which is located within its traditional lands, according to local media reports.

In a statement, ATAC Resources criticised the rejection of the proposal, which consisted of an application to construct a tote road to the Tiger Gold Deposit in east-central Yukon. The road would support advanced exploration of the area, the company says.

“We are extremely disappointed with and surprised by this decision” says President and CEO Graham Downs. 

“This was an application for a private, single-lane, gravel and controlled-access road in an area with existing winter trail access. If this road can’t be permitted following a positive environmental and socio-economic assessment decision and years of governmental encouragement to invest in the project, then you have to wonder if Yukon is in fact open for business.”

The company adds that it does not agree with many aspects of the government’s decision, and that in consultation with its external legal counsel, is evaluating its options.

According to the Vancouver-based exploration company, the 65-kilometre long tote road was conditionally approved by both the Yukon government and the FNNND in March 2018, under the Yukon Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment Act.

It insists that it has acted in good faith throughout the process and has taken great care to ensure the input of the FNNND and surrounding communities were duly considered when designing and routing the road.

The Tiger Gold deposit is part of the larger Rackla Gold Project, which is located within the Beaver River watershed. All of this area is located within the traditional lands of the FNNND, but the proposed road would skirt Settlement A lands, where First Nation ownership includes both the surface and sub-surface, including mines and minerals.

Speaking during the legislative assembly on December 1, Yukon Party MLA Scott Kent criticised the decision and accused the Liberals party of ‘stringing along ATAC for three years’ before turning down the proposal.

“It demonstrates that currently, there’s a climate of distrust in the mining industry of this government. It is extremely concerning when you see the CEO of a major mining company indicate that it seems like the Yukon is closed,” adds Yukon Party leader Currie Dixon, in the Yukon News.

However, Energy, Mines and Resources Minister Ranj Pillai, says that the company will have an opportunity to improve their application and reapply.

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society – Yukon Chapter welcomed the decision to reject the proposal. Stating that the proposed road would be built just below the Peel Watershed, CPAWS – Yukon says that the route would cut through habitat for moose, grizzly bears, salmon and other wildlife.

“The science of road ecology clearly shows these species will be harmed by things like habitat loss, road avoidance, and overhunting,” CPAWS says in a statement on its website.

“One main condition of the road application was to create a sub-regional land use plan for the Beaver River Watershed. This process gave Na-Cho Nyäk Dun citizens and Yukoners the opportunity to address concerns they had with the road. 

“Many pointed to the negative impact that this road would have on a landscape that is so important for hunting, trapping, recreation, and wildlife habitat. ATAC attempted to bypass this process by submitting a separate application outside of this sub-regional plan, which has been rejected by the Government,” it adds.

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Apr 21, 2021

Rio Tinto’s iron ore output falls 2% year-on-year

2 min
World's biggest iron ore producer reports lower quarterly output due to labour shortages and weather issues
Rio Tinto reported lower quarterly iron ore output as wet weather and labour shortages impacted its mine and port operations in Western Australia.
Above average wet weather in the mines and workforce availability disrupted maintenance during the quarter, Rio said, while Tropical Cyclone Seroja impacted operations in April, reports Reuters.


Iron Ore
Production for the quarter stood at 76.4 million tonnes, down 2% from the same period last year.
“You’d have to suggest that its a pretty average result. They have not delivered iron ore into a solid pricing environment,” said David Lennox at Fat Prophets in Sydney.
“There’s nothing that they can do about wet weather – it may be that they are going to have to live with changing environmental conditions. What will save them is the fact that they have got higher commodity prices generally, especially iron ore and copper.”
The world’s biggest iron ore producer shipped 77.8 million tonnes (mt) of the commodity in the quarter ended March 31, up 7% compared with 72.9 mt last year. It maintained its forecast of shipping between 325mt and 340mt of iron ore in 2021.


Rio has benefited from strong demand for its higher quality Pilbara blend products due to solid margins at China steelmakers as construction activity and steel demand in the first quarter eclipsed 2020 and 2019 levels.
China’s renewed focus on cutting steelmaking emissions will likely restrain steel exports in 2021, supporting margins globally, it said.
Copper production fell 16% on year ago levels after covid-19 prevention measures limited labour availability in Escondida in Chile.
Its Oyu Tolgoi copper shipments have been impacted by Chinese boarder restrictions due to increased cases of covid-19.
“We declared force majeure on shipments from 30 March and continue to work closely with authorities and our customers to manage the risk of supply chain disruptions,” it said.
“Rio has resumed cross-border concentrate shipments into China on 15 April however, the situation is very fluid with the covid-19 resurgence in Mongolia.”

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