New program to clean up largest abandoned mines in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories

News release

August 19, 2019 — Yellowknife, NT — Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

Canada is moving forward with a long-term plan to clean up contaminated sites in the North.

Today, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced that the Government's new Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program will invest $2.2 billion over 15 years to address remediation of the eight largest abandoned mine projects in the Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

These projects are the Faro, United Keno Hill, Mount Nansen, Ketza River, and Clinton Creek mines in the Yukon; and the Giant, Cantung, and Great Bear Lake mines in the Northwest Territories. The Great Bear Lake project consists of multiple smaller sites in close proximity to each other.

The new program will leverage expertise gained over 15 years of managing human and environmental health and safety risks at contaminated sites in the North and allow for longer-term tenders for work at the sites, providing greater certainty for impacted communities and economic opportunity for Indigenous people and Northerners.

The Government of Canada prioritizes engagement with the Indigenous and Northern communities impacted by each site and supports their access to the employment and business opportunities associated with its clean up. The new Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program will continue to promote new economic opportunities for Indigenous people and Northerners in large remediation projects.


"Indigenous and Northern communities must be able to meaningfully participate in and benefit from the Government of Canada's investment in cleaning up northern contaminated sites. The new Northern Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program demonstrates the Government of Canada's commitment to engage with Indigenous and Northern communities and find approaches that benefit both the environment and the economy."

The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, M.D., P.C., M.P.
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

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For more information, media may contact:

Matthew Dillon-Leitch
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Carolyn Bennett
Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

Media Relations
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada

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