Apply to operate a major quartz mine

To develop a major quartz mine, also known as a hard rock mine, you will need to:

  • complete an environmental and socioeconomic assessment;
  • determine if you need to apply for a Water Licence; and
  • apply for a Quartz Mining Licence.

Complete an environmental and socioeconomic assessment

You must complete an assessment through the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board. Depending on the size of your mining project, there are 3 levels of assessment:

  • a designated office evaluation;
  • an executive committee screening; or
  • a panel of the board review.

The assessment will include a public comment period and consultations with affected First Nations.

The Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board will provide us with a recommendation. They will recommend your project:

  • proceeds;
  • proceeds with conditions; or
  • cannot proceed as proposed.

Water Licences

Water Licenses are issued by the Yukon Water Board. Visit their website to learn about applying for a licence.

Quartz Mining Licences

Meet with us to discuss your project

The 1st step is to meet with our staff at the Mineral Resources Branch. They can help you identify the regulatory requirements for your project. We'll work with you on integrating the recommendations from the environmental socioeconomic assessment and licensing requirements. We will assign you a branch contact for future submissions.

Contact the Mineral Resources Branch to set up a meeting. Email [email protected]


To apply for the required licences, you will need to submit plans for mine:

  • development;
  • operations;
  • environmental monitoring and mitigation; and
  • decommissioning.

To help you with planning, we have the following guides:

Submit your Quartz Mining Licence application and plans to your Mineral Resources Branch contact.

Consultations with First Nations

In many cases, First Nations will support mining projects if they see benefits for the local community. Many of these partnerships are reflected in socioeconomic agreements designed to increase local benefits. We recommend you begin consultations with affected First Nations early in your project planning. These consultations will continue throughout the life of your project.

Financial security

You will need to submit financial security to us. This will cover the full outstanding mine reclamation and closure liability.

You must submit a 2-year liability estimate for our review. A professional engineer licensed to practice in Yukon must prepare your estimate.

The 1st initial liability estimates may be based on:

  • conceptual designs;
  • drawings; and
  • maps.

As your project develops, you can include information that's more detailed into your liability estimate.

You'll find information on how to estimate the cost of your financial liability in our reclamation and closure planning guidelines.

We review your liability estimate. This ensures that the security we hold from you covers the full cost of the peak liability during the next 2 years.

We accept many forms of financial security. Read our reclamation and closure policy and the financial guide to learn:

  • what forms of security we accept; and
  • the conditions for using the different forms.

Submit your financial security to the Mineral Resources Branch. You'll find instructions in your license or security determination letter.

Selling or transferring your mine

If you sell or transfer the mine property, we'll only approve transferring the licence if the new owner:

  • provides the security required; and
  • agrees in writing to comply with the license.

We must also believe the transfer will not result in a contravention of the license.

Mineral activities in the Peel River watershed

The 2019 Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan guides the management of the region. This includes:

  • environmental protection;
  • social considerations; and
  • economic development.

The cornerstone of the plan is sustainable development.

We will evaluate proposed mineral activities in the Peel Watershed region for conformity to the plan. The plan will also inform assessment and regulatory steps.

Read our brochure to see a summary of the standards for all classes of mineral activities throughout the Peel Watershed region.