A number of claim holders have agreed to give up their mining claims within the conservation areas specified in the Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan that was approved in August 2019.
Seven companies have relinquished 5,031 of the 7,298 claims that were located in Special Management Areas and Wilderness Areas.
In collaboration with First Nations governments, the Government of Yukon and Newmont Corporation recently reached an agreement for the company to relinquish 1,835 claims in the Wind, Bonnet Plume and Snake River areas of the Peel region. This is the largest relinquishment by a single company in the Peel Watershed.
Bernard Kreft, Generic Gold and ATAC Resources are also claimholders in the region that have relinquished mineral claims under similar agreements and agreed to make their actions public at this time.
Thank you to Newmont and other claimholders who are taking significant action to protect the Peel Watershed and ensure that this land is safeguarded now and for generations of Yukoners. Their agreements to relinquish claims within the Peel region are an example of responsible mining practices, which value environmental stewardship.
Minister of Energy, Mines & Resources John Streicker
I want to acknowledge the corporate and environmental responsibility that Newmont and other companies are demonstrating by relinquishing their mining claims in the Peel Watershed. These noble actions respect the irreplaceable cultural importance of that area to the Na-Cho Nyäk Dun people and support the implementation of the Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan, developed in accordance with Chapter 11 of our Final Agreement. It is truly refreshing to see that large mining corporations have a social conscience.
Chief First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun Simon Mervyn
I would like to recognize the responsible approach to this issue by Newmont and the six other mining companies, through their decision to relinquish their mining claims within the Peel Watershed. The Gwich’in people are not against mining, but the risk to our culture and well-being from large-scale industrial activity in the Peel Watershed is simply too great. The Peel Watershed is the lifeblood of the Gwich’in Nation and is not only cherished by our people, but by all Canadians who stood by us in our collective protest to Protect the Peel.
Grand Chief of Gwich’in Tribal Council Ken Kyikavichik
With the relinquishment of mining claims within the Peel Watershed, Newmont has shown a commitment to environmental responsibility and importantly, they have demonstrated a commitment to upholding and respecting the outcomes of regional land use planning. Chapter 11 is a fundamental pillar of our Final Agreements, and it is encouraging to see this action and the collective pledge to honour the intent of the Peel Plan.
Chief of Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Roberta Joseph
The Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan was approved in August 2019 by he governments of Yukon, Vuntut Gwitchin, First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, and the Gwich’in Tribal Council. The parties continue to work together to implement the Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan.
When the Peel Regional Land Use Plan was approved, there were almost 8903 claims (8,378 quartz claims, plus 525 iron and mica leases) in the Peel region. To date, 5,031 claims have been relinquished and discussions continue with other claimholders.
In exchange for relinquishing claims in the Peel region, claim holders are granted relief from work requirements on claims held elsewhere in the Yukon.
Communications, Energy, Mines & Resources
Na-cho Nyäk Dun
Communications Director, Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in
867-993-7100 ext. 108
Communication Advisor, Gwich’in Tribal Council