October 6, 2011 |

Hill: Yukon is experiencing 3rd gold rush

Four Haines Borough representatives traveled to Whitehorse last month to discuss potential partnerships between the two municipalities.

"We delivered the message, and it was well received, that Haines is open for business and we want to work with our Yukon neighbors and the visitor industry, government and their mining groups," said Mayor Jan Hill.

Borough manager Mark Earnest, consultant Darsie Culbeck and Robert Venables of Southeast Conference also made the trip.

Hill in a report to the Haines Borough Assembly said the Haines delegation on Sept. 23 met with Yukon government officials and representatives from the City of Whitehorse, Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce, Yukon Chamber of Commerce, Yukon Chamber of Mines and Yukon Tourism Association.

"The Yukon is experiencing its third gold rush, historically, with over $355 million spent on exploration in this year alone," Hill said. "Several feasibility studies are underway and the expectation is for a new mine to come on line every two to three years for the foreseeable future."

She said the borough would work with the Yukon Chamber of Mines to create a directory of local services and recreational activities to encourage miners to visit Haines.

Additional strategies for Haines and the Yukon are to develop another marketing campaign for the Golden Circle route and to collaborate with Skagway on energy issues through participation in Southeast Conference’s energy committee.

Manager Earnest said the new Haines Port Development Steering Committee would designate two seats for Yukon appointees, from the chambers of commerce and mines.

"The Yukon is having an unprecedented growth in the mining sector and is facing constraints with energy, transportation, port access, labor and development partnerships," Hill said.

She said the borough would continue to meet with Yukon leaders, and "port access is going to be more valuable as transport costs rise."