Yukon, First Nations release mineral development report ahead of mining act update

The rights of Indigenous peoples is at the heart of the Yukon Mineral Development Report prepared by an independent committee of government […]

The rights of Indigenous peoples is at the heart of the Yukon Mineral Development Report prepared by an independent committee of government and First Nations representatives. The report was prepared by the Mineral Development Strategy (MDS) Panel after extensive engagement with the government, First Nations and the public.

Released on Apr. 15, the MDS will provide the framework with which to update the Quartz and Placer mining acts in the territory. The Strategy also includes streamlining land use planning and creating a more equitable royalty structure.

The MDS report lays out a collaborative and place-based method of resource development in a way that benefits all Yukoners and supports a robust, balanced mining industry. The vision behind it respects First Nations values, modern treaties, environmental legacies, the need for social licence, and more. As well it is intended to encourage global investment and create a transparent and stable regulatory regime.

The MDS report outlines seven guiding principles to be followed to create a mining industry that benefits all residents:

  • Collaboration: Broad collaboration to ensure all Yukoners understand and benefit from resource development.
  • Honouring Our Ancestors: All activities must reflect both the spirit and intent of modern treaties, bi-lateral agreements, transboundary treaties, the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the findings of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
  • Sustainability: Environmental impacts will be controlled with consideration of climate impacts and cumulative effects.
  • Future Generations: The social, economic and environmental effects of development will be weighed against the needs of future generations.
  • Respect: Respect for the natural and human environment using traditional knowledge and evidence-based decision making.
  • Transparency and Trust: The sector will create social viability and durable economic prosperity for all residents.
  • Certainty and Clarity: Legislative and regulatory certainty will be created for permitting, monitoring and enforcement processes.

The MDS report includes six strategic priorities with detailed actions to be taken to achieve these goals.

The Strategy concludes in part: “…the MDS Panel believes that industry will seize the opportunity to respond positively to the further alignment of the mining industry’s interests with the interests of the people who call the Yukon home. Establishing the alignment of development interests among all Yukon people will make the Yukon a rare and unique jurisdiction in the world.”

The Yukon Mineral Development Strategy report may be read in its entirety or downloaded at http://yukonmds.com/.


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