It is my pleasure to invite you to join me at Yukon Night 2023, which will be taking place on January 22 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Presented by the Yukon Chamber of Mines, this engaging event is the perfect opportunity to celebrate and promote Yukoners, Yukon businesses and our territory’s ongoing success in the exploration and mining industry.
Mining is an integral part of Yukon’s history. By providing substantial investment and employment opportunities for Yukoners, the mining industry continues to play a crucial role in our territory’s economic and cultural identity. This is why the Government of Yukon continues its work – alongside all of our partners, stakeholders and First Nation governments – to collaboratively promote the territory’s global potential in mineral exploration.
Yukon is home to impressive critical mineral deposits, including nickel, cobalt, copper, tungsten, zinc and platinum group metals. A secure and socially and environmentally sustainable supply of these critical minerals in the global market is essential to achieving our goal of reducing CO² emissions and transitioning Yukon, Canada, and the world towards a clean and digital economy.
Our government remains committed to attracting responsible mining investments that will not only assist in our transition towards a greener economy, but also incorporate the views of local communities. Progressive partnerships with our First Nation governments and community members have been vital to providing economic benefits across the territory in the forms of job creation, and the building of new working relationships, legislation and infrastructure.
It truly is an exciting time to get involved in the bountiful investment opportunities that Yukon’s mining industry has to offer. With growing interest from major players, such as Newmont, Hecla and Rio Tinto, mineral exploration in the Yukon is booming. I look forward to what the future of mining in the territory will bring for 2023, and I am excited to take part in the many illuminating discussions that we will share in together at this year’s Yukon Night.
I hope you’ll join us at Yukon Night on Sunday, Jan. 22, during the Association for Mineral Exploration’s annual Roundup Conference. We are looking forward to the return of an in-person event with Yukon hospitality that provides a great opportunity to network and learn more about the territory’s exploration and mining industry.
Mining and mineral exploration investment are major contributors to the Yukon’s economy. Yukoners benefit from this sector through direct and indirect employment, training opportunities, scholarships, and financial contributions to our Yukon communities.
That said, the Yukon is also changing. We are transitioning to a clean energy economy and meeting our commitments to reconciliation. We are well on our way to implementing Our Clean Future: a Yukon strategy for climate change, energy and a green economy. And we are working alongside First Nations to develop new mineral legislation that better reflects our relationship with the land and supports a modern and sustainable mining industry.
We are collaborating with Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in to advance important work on the Dawson Regional Land Use Plan. A significant milestone has been reached with the planning commission releasing its recommendations. The feedback we recently received from the public, industry and other stakeholders will help shape the overall vision for the region.
As we move forward on these commitments, mining and exploration will have an important role to play. For example, responsible mining of Yukon’s critical minerals will enable us to advance our renewable energy interests while creating well-paying jobs. To help stimulate new discoveries, we will continue to invest in the Yukon Mineral Exploration Program. This year, Yukon is supporting 25 hard rock and 17 placer projects through the program. These projects spent an estimated $3.8 million on exploration in 2022.
I fully expect that the Yukon will continue to attract interest from investors, explorers and miners due to its mineral potential, identified resources and stability. The territory ranked in the top ten globally for desirable mining jurisdictions in a recent Fraser Institute survey. Natural Resources Canada’s fall 2022 revised estimate for mineral exploration spending in Yukon was $185 million for 2022, up from $154 million in 2021.
The Government of Yukon supports a strong, sustainable and responsible mining industry. Yukon Night starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Hope to see you there.
Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources