The recent Government of Yukon, in partnership with Yukon Mining Alliance and Yukon Chamber of Mines, lunch in the heart of Toronto’s Bay Street brought some of the Yukon’s most prominent mining executives together with brokers, institutional investors and analysts from the Canadian financial world.
The theme of the lunch was “Come and see why the Yukon is the #1 jurisdiction in the world for mining investment”. How good is the Yukon? Well, how often do you see a top government Minister and the Premier of the Province fly several thousand miles to attend and speak at an investment lunch?
As well as the Premier and Minister, seven of the Yukon’s significant mining and exploration companies attended the packed room lunch. Janet Lee-Sheriff and her husband Bill Sheriff, CEO and Chairman of Golden Predator (and pictured above), John McConnell, Victoria Gold CEO, Shawn Ryan, Chief Technical Advisor for White Gold, Paul West-Sells, CEO Western Copper and Gold, Graeme Jennings, Wellgreen’s VP Corporate Development, Sue Craig, a Director of Metallic Minerals Corp and Clynt Nauman, CEO of Alexco Resource gave the Toronto attendees a real sense of where the next big mining stories in the Yukon will come from. They were joined by Brent Bergeron, Executive VP Corporate Affairs for Goldcorp and Kelvin Dushnisky, President Barrick Gold Corporation who brought the majors’ perspective on the Yukon mining opportunity.
Lynn Hutton, President of the Yukon First Nation Chamber of Commerce and the President, Director and CEO of Chief Isaac Group of Companies attended. She did not have an official role, but it makes perfect sense to have a leader from the First Nations business community attend as the Yukon mining story very much includes First Nations.
Premier Sandy Silver’s remarks went right to the heart of the Yukon mining opportunity. He pointed out that the model of First Nations, Government and Corporate co-operation which has been created in the Yukon can and should be a model for the rest of Canada. In the Yukon there are no “open treaties”, that is First Nations claims which have not been settled. As I heard over and over when I was in the Yukon, First Nations are government.
Which means that mining and exploration companies have a First Nations partner to negotiate and work with. All the parties know that mining will create jobs and wealth for the Yukon and the only question is how best to ensure that First Nations receive real benefits from mining on their traditional territories.
Premier Silver went on to point out that, at the moment, the Yukon has a 2% unemployment rate. Which means, effectively, no unemployment. The Yukon, in fact, needs people and, as mining projects come online, will need to recruit in Southern Canada.
But Premier Silver had to compete with the star of the show: a million dollar, 700-ounce Doré bar brought by Golden Predator and guarded by a Mountie in Red Serge dress uniform. But Silver and Ranj Pillai are sharp, savvy politicians, and they made sure to take a photo op with the Yukon’s future.