Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government will inject $247 million into the Yukon’s highway network, through the Yukon Resource Gateway Project. The idea is to support resource development in the mineral-rich area.
During a meeting in Whitehorse with the territory’s Premier Sandy Silver, Trudeau said that the local administration will also do its part by pitching in $113 million for upgrading more than 650 kilometres of roads, and build or upgrade a number of bridges for highways leading into the Dawson Range and the Nahanni Range.
Among the mines that stand to benefit from new roadways are Goldcorp’s (TSX:G) Coffee gold project, acquired in 2016 through the Kaminak Gold takeover, and Western Copper and Gold’s (TSX:WRN) Casino open-pit mine project located about 300 km northwest of Whitehorse.
“Modern infrastructure is key to developing and properly managing the incredible natural resources we have at our fingertips. By providing easier access to important resources across Yukon, the Yukon Resource Gateway Project will help create good, middle-class jobs, promote long-term economic prosperity,” the PM said during a speech.
On the same note, Samson Hartland, executive director of the Yukon Chamber of Mines, told the Canadian Press that the plan is visionary. “This is not about three or four specific mining projects. This is about unlocking Yukon’s mineral potential,” he said.
Both political and industry leaders made clear that every aspect of the project will be consulted with local First Nations, who have expressed concern over its environmental impact.