Determine the class of your placer mining operation

  • Class 1 operation limits
  • Class 2 operation limits
  • Class 3 mining operations limits
  • Class 4 mining operation limits

Placer mining operation activities fall into 4 classes under the Placer Mining Land Use Regulation. As the class increases so does the potential to cause negative impacts on the environment. Knowing your mining class is essential to knowing the limits of land and water disturbances for your operation.

  1. Class 1 operation limits

    Construction of structures other than underground structures

    Structures without foundations that are intended to be used for 12 consecutive months or less are permitted.

    Number of person-days per camp

    A maximum of 250 person-days

    Number of people in a camp at any 1 time

    A maximum of 10 people

    Storage of fuel

    • Total amount stored: a maximum of 5,000 litres
    • Limit per container: a maximum of 2,000 litres

    Construction of lines

    • A maximum of 1.5 metres wide
    • Can only be cut by hand with hand-held tools

    Construction of corridors

    • A maximum of 5 metres wide.
    • A maximum of 0.5 kilometres long

    Trenching

    • Grouped claims: a maximum of 1,200 cubic metres on a group of 3 claims; and no claim can be part of more than 1 group.
    • Individual claims: a maximum of 400 cubic metres.

    Ditching and drains

    A maximum total volume of 250 cubic metres

    Area stripped

    A maximum of 600 square metres per claim per year

    Access roads and trails

    • Establishing new access roads is not allowed.
    • Upgrading access roads is not allowed.
    • For the use of vehicles on existing roads, vehicles must weigh within the design limits of the road. If the design limits are unknown, vehicles must weigh less than 40 tonnes for roads and 20 tonnes for trails.
    • For off-road use of vehicles in summer, only low ground-pressure vehicles are permitted.
    • For off-road use of vehicles in winter, these must be:
      • low ground-pressure vehicles; or
      • vehicles with a gross vehicle weight not exceeding 40 tonnes used over a maximum distance of 15 kilometres.

    Use of explosives

    A maximum of 1,000 kilograms in any 30-day period

    Height of overburden piles for placer mining

    A maximum height of 3 metres

  2. Class 2 operation limits

    Construction of structures other than underground structures

    Structures without foundations are permitted

    Number of person-days per camp

    More than 250 person-days

    Number of people in a camp at any 1 time

    More than 10 people

    Storage of fuel

    • Total amount stored: a maximum of 40,000 litres
    • Limit by container: a maximum of 10,000 litres

    Construction of lines

    • Can be more than 1.5 metres wide
    • Can be cut with tools that are not hand held

    Construction of corridors

    • A maximum of 5 metres wide
    • A maximum of 0.5 kilometres long

    Trenching

    • Grouped claims: can exceed 1,200 cubic metres on a group of 3 claims, when no claim forms part of more than 1 group.
    • Individual claims: can exceed 400 cubic metres.

    Ditching and drains

    More than 250 cubic metres is allowed per claim.

    Area stripped

    A maximum of 1 hectare per claim per year

    Access roads and trails

    • Establishing new access roads is allowed to a maximum distance of 5 kilometres.
    • Upgrading access roads is allowed up to a distance of 10 kilometres.
    • For the use of vehicles on existing roads, vehicles must weigh within the design limits of the road. If the design limits are unknown, these must weigh less than 40 tonnes for roads and 20 tonnes for trails.
    • For off-road use of vehicles in summer, vehicles with a gross weight of 20 tonnes or less, used over a maximum distance of 15 kilometres are permitted. Vehicles with a gross weight of 50 tonnes or less, used over a maximum distance of 2.5 kilometres are also permitted.
    • For off-road use of vehicles in winter, these must be:
      • low ground-pressure or other vehicles; and
      • used over a maximum distance of 25 kilometres.

    Use of explosives

    1,000 kilograms or more in any 30-day period

    Height of overburden piles for placer mining

    3 metres or more in height

  3. Class 3 mining operations limits

    Your placer operation is considered Class 3 if:

    • it exceeds any of the criteria for the activities set out in Class 2 operation limits; and
    • only requires 300 cubic metres of:
      • water use per day; or
      • deposit of waste in a watercourse.

    Construction of structures other than underground structures

    Structures with foundations are permitted

  4. Class 4 mining operation limits

    You placer operation is considered a Class 4 operation if it requires more than 300 cubic metres of:

    • water use per day; or
    • deposit of waste in a watercourse.

    You will need a water licence to do Class 4 placer mining. You will need to apply for Class 4 mining land use and water licence through the Yukon Water Board.

    Learn more about preparing a Class 4 project proposal.