Canada’s Yukon Poised for Mining Exploration Boom

si-pdac-convention-110307Yukon, Canada mining officials say they’re expecting a busy exploration season this summer, as a number of companies are keen to look for gold and other minerals in the territory.

Industry executives attending this week’s Prospectors and Developers Convention in Toronto have shown lots of interest in Yukon mineral exploration projects, according to the Yukon government.

Upwards of 26,000 delegates from 125 countries are at the convention, which began Monday and runs through Wednesday.

Lee Pigage, the Yukon government’s acting mineral services manager, said more than 80,000 mining claims were staked in the territory last year, so that should guarantee a busy exploration season this year.

“These exploration people are going to have to work on those claims to apply for assessment credits to keep their claims in good standing, so we’re expecting that there’s going to be a lot of activity,” Pigage told CBC News at the convention.

Pigage said more than $160 million was spent on exploration in Yukon last year, and he’s expecting an equivalent amount or more this summer.

One of the territory’s most promising prospects is Kaminak Gold Corp.’s Coffee property, located in the White Gold district south of Dawson City, Yukon.

The massive gold deposits at the White Gold district have attracted international attention since it was discovered by Shawn Ryan, who was named Canada’s top prospector at this week’s mining convention.

Kaminak exploration manager Tim Smith said even after spending $15 million at the Coffee property this year, the company will still have $35 million in reserve.

“We’ve got a pretty big treasury there, and obviously there’s a bit of spare cash,” Smith said. “So if things are going well it gives us the opportunity to review mid-year and maybe bring in another drill if results warrant that.”

Dennis Ouellette of Northern Tiger Resources Inc., which is exploring for gold and copper in Yukon, said he is getting a lot of enquiries at his convention booth.

“There’s a great deal of interest in the industry, and most especially in projects that are located in the Yukon,” he said.

Ouellette said his representatives even caught the attention of a convention delegate who had walked past their booth. The passerby was so impressed by their pitch that he invested $250,000 on the spot,” he said.

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