The Government of Yukon has responded to PricewaterhouseCoopers’ review of the process by which the security amount for the Wolverine mine was determined. The security is a deposit companies pay in advance to cover the cleanup and closure costs of their mine, also known as reclamation and closure.
The Government of Yukon contracted PricewaterhouseCoopers to carry out an independent review of how the government assessed and approved reclamation and closure plans, and set the financial security amount for the Wolverine mine since its temporary closure in October 2015.
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ review includes the following recommendations for the Government of Yukon:
- A holistic risk assessment of a company’s financial status and cash flow sensitivity to changing economic conditions prior to granting them a licence;
- proactive identification of risks that could increase liabilities at the site; and
- the addition of a clearer internal communication protocol for staff to follow when reporting on risks to senior decision makers.
The Government of Yukon has responded to these recommendations with several commitments to reduce the likelihood of a reoccurrence of the Wolverine mine site situation including:
- seeking input from stakeholders about including a risk assessment as part of the Government of Yukon’s review of updated reclamation and closure plans;
- a review of the feasibility of establishing a Yukon mine reclamation fund;
- examination of how the Government of Yukon currently structures the terms and conditions of licences to allow for more proactive intervention at mine sites when risks are identified; and
- strengthened coordination between branches within government with formalized internal roles, responsibilities, processes and accountabilities.
Both the review and the government response are available on the Government of Yukon website.
The Government of Yukon is examining past events to gain better understanding and ensure best decision-making practices going forward when it comes to setting security amounts, enforcing licence requirements and, importantly, protecting the environment.
Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources Ranj Pillai
A receiver has assumed care and control of Yukon Zinc Corporation since September 13, 2019. The appointed receiver, with Government of Yukon, have taken over ongoing care and maintenance operations at the Wolverine mine site.
While both the receiver of Wolverine mine and the authors of the review are part of PricewaterhouseCoopers network, the two services come from distinct PricewaterhouseCoopers operations.
The Government of Yukon continues to update Ross River Dena Council, Liard First Nation, Dease River First Nation, and Kwadacha Nation about activities at the Wolverine mine.