Statement from Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources John Streicker on the heap leach failure at the Eagle Gold mine

Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources John Streicker has issued the following statement:

“The Government of Yukon is closely monitoring the situation at the Eagle Gold mine, following the failure of the heap leach facility on Monday, June 24.

“We had a variety of staff on site shortly after the failure occurred. Our mineral resources staff are helping to review the company’s plans for next steps to address the environmental and safety risks of the failure. Natural resource officers are assessing the site’s compliance with the terms and conditions of the mine’s licences. The Yukon Workers' Safety and Compensation Board has also visited the site to help ensure worker safety.

“The company moved quickly following the slide to build dams to hold back contaminated water. This water is being pumped into storage ponds. Natural resource officers are monitoring water on site, and the Department of Environment continues to operate long-term water quality monitoring stations upstream and downstream of the mine.

“It’s too early to speak to the cause of the heap leach failure. What’s clear at this point is that the failure involved a slide of the ore stacked in the heap leach facility. The slide caused ore to spill over the embankment at the base of the heap facility. The slide appears to have damaged some mine infrastructure.

“We’re thankful to hear that the Victoria Gold has indicated no workers were reported as harmed by the slide. The company has voluntarily ceased operations while investigations are underway.

“Environmental Health Services and the Chief Medical Officer of Health are monitoring the situation. Based on the information currently available and based on the location of the incident, the drinking water supply wells for the Village of Mayo are not impacted and the drinking water in Mayo is safe to drink. Although we believe any potential risk is extremely low, out of an abundance of caution, Environmental Health Services will support the Village of Mayo in ongoing coordination of drinking water analyses to monitor for contaminants of concern until more is understood about the details of the event.

“Our government has been communicating directly with the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun, the Village of Mayo, Victoria Gold, and other stakeholders as we navigate this evolving situation together. We are dedicated to keeping Yukoners informed with accurate information and plan to have our departmental officials provide a technical briefing to the media by the end of the week, with updates shared as they become available.

“We recognize that many Yukoners are concerned about the potential environmental impacts of this failure. We are committed to working closely with the First Nation of Nacho Nyak Dun as we determine next steps. As a mining regulator, we remain committed to ensuring that the environment is protected, and that will guide our future actions at the site.”

Media contact 

Laura Seeley
Cabinet Communications
[email protected]

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