Whitehorse: Today’s announcement by Alexco that it intends to suspend operations at the Keno mine unfortunately comes as no surprise and provides another reminder how dependent our resource economy is on world mineral prices, says Klondike MLA Sandy Silver.
“Today’s announcement is bad news for Yukoners who will now be looking for work and bad news for our economy,” said Silver. ‘It is also further proof, if we needed any, that our resource economy is driven by world mineral prices.”
For a number of years, the Yukon Party has insisted that it was responsible for the improved mining picture in the territory and that prices had nothing to do with it.
“The Yukon Party has been claiming immunity to just these forces for years. Maybe today’s announcement will see them singing a different tune,” he said. “In summary, the Yukon Party claims responsibility for past success brought on by high mineral prices, but blames the pending decline on “global market forces”.”
Silver hopes today’s announcement, along with recent setbacks at Wolverine, Brewery Creek and Victoria Gold, will cause the Cathers government to start thinking about economic diversification.
“While riding a wave of high prices for the last number of years the Yukon Party has paid almost no attention to economic diversification,” he said. “It’s time for the government to admit our economy has performed well because of these prices and also admit it has work to do to ensure we have other options.”
Silver noted the Minister of Economic Development has yet to release this year’s Economic Outlook. It is normally available in May or June.
“It appears the government is sitting on the report trying to decide how to message the coming bad economic news,” he said. “Today’s announcement by Alexco will no doubt mean more editing is required.”
For additional information contact:
Jason Cunning 667-8942
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