Before you can apply to explore or mine for placer gold, you must get a claim. This gives you the exclusive right to minerals in the claim’s area.
Placer claims entitle you to minerals, such as gold, above the bedrock in “pay gravels". If you want to mine for minerals in the bedrock, you'll need a quartz claim.
Anyone 18 years or older can stake a claim for themselves, a corporation or another person. There is no requirement for Canadian citizenship or Yukon residency.
Corporations wanting to hold claims, or do other business related to claims, must be registered with the Government of Yukon Corporate Affairs.
You can stake claims for another person or for a company if you have a power of attorney to do so. Each power of attorney allows you to stake up to 3 claims per year for up to 2 people a year. Register your power of attorney with the district Mining Recorder’s Office before you stake.
Choosing a claim location
Before staking a placer claim, make sure the ground is available for staking. You cannot stake a claim within another valid placer claim.
- Check the online mining map viewer to find out what land is available.
- Contact the Mining Recorder's Office to confirm the area is still available.
Staking is not permitted:
- on active placer claims or prospecting leases;
- within a municipal boundary;
- on First Nation Category A Settlement Land;
- land occupied by a building or within the yard of a house;
- cemeteries or burial grounds; and
- any land removed from staking by Order in Council (often referred to as OICs or prohibition orders). For example:
- lands withdrawn from staking for the settlement of land claims;
- special land management areas;
- airports; or
- historic sites.
Your claim cannot cross into the basin of another creek or waterbody.
Stake your claim
In Yukon, you stake a claim by putting a series of posts in the ground. This means you must travel to the area. You cannot stake a claim on a map or online.
There are different types of placer claims you can stake. There are also many requirements you must meet to stake your claim correctly.
Before you go out to stake, carefully read our placer staking guidelines to learn about:
- the types of claims you can stake;
- the size of the claims;
- the posts you can use to stake;
- where to plant your stakes on the claim;
- clearing a location line; and
- what inscription is required on the posts.
Record your claim
After you stake a claim, you're required to complete an application for a grant of claim. This is known as recording your claim.
You must file your application within a specific period, called travel time. The travel time for placer claims is a minimum of 10 days. You get an additional day for every 10 miles (16.1 kilometres) your claim is from the district Mining Recorder’s Office. We measure the distance in a straight line, “as the crow flies.”
Before going out into the field, visit the district Mining Recorder’s Office to confirm the amount of travel time assigned to the area you plan to stake. This ensures you can avoid missing the deadline to record your claim. You can also view our travel time map.
We will not record your claim after the allowable travel time has passed.
Apply to record your claim
Applications are usually done in person at the district Mining Recorder’s Office.
- Complete the application form.
- The person who staked the claim must sign it in front of a notary. Our staff at mining recorder’s offices are notaries.
- Include a signed and dated sketch of your claim. Sketches must have the following information:
- both post locations;
- a scale;
- a north arrow;
- the topographic map sheet number;
- the location of any geographical features such as lakes, rivers, or streams;
- claim boundaries; and
- any adjacent claims.
- Pay the application fee of $10 per claim.
- We wait until the travel time for the claim has passed before approving it. This ensures there is no competing claim.
- After we grant you your claim, we'll mail you claim tags. You should attach the tags to your claim posts as soon as practical. You risk having your claim cancelled if the posts are not tagged.
When you have to pay a financial security
If you stake a claim over an existing surface disposition, you may need to provide financial security.
If you stake a claim on First Nation Category B Settlement Land, you must provide financial security.
The district Mining Recorder can provide you with information on financial security on a case-by-case basis.
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.