Yukon: A Modern Day Gold Rush

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"The Yukon is relatively untouched. . .placer mining is still ongoing."

The Yukon is home to the famous Klondike gold rush of the late 1890s. Prospectors flocked there some 120 years ago, following the Rabbit Creek gold discovery by George Carmack, Dawson Charlie and Skookum Jim. When these men returned to their Pacific Northwest homes carrying bags of gold, they encouraged thousands more like them to journey to the Yukon, hoping they would find riches in the Klondike, too.

These miners were in search of placer gold—gold that has been eroded from its mother rock and transported a distance away from where it was formed. Nowadays, gold mining has evolved into a sophisticated operation. Gold prospecting methods have changed for a few reasons. For one, most placer deposits have been discovered and exhausted. To meet our demand for gold, we have had to dig deeper—away from placer deposits—to find the main source.

Remarkably, however, placer mining in the Yukon is still ongoing. Small placer gold mines operating in the region have a combined annual production of ~100,000 troy ounces. The total recorded gold production from 1885 to date is about 12.5 Moz., a value of roughly US$15 billion at today's prices.

The region's mining has been directed toward placer deposits, with considerably less effort to locate the hard-rock sources. Thus, compared to exploration around the rest of the world, the Yukon is relatively untouched. Now, a brand new gold rush may be just around the corner.

In order to encourage investment and prospecting, a number of gold miners active in the region have formed the Yukon Gold Mining Alliance. The YGMA is a marketing consortium of qualified Yukon exploration, development & mining companies committed to increasing Yukon awareness and member companies in the capital market. Alexco Resource Corp. is among the seven members of the YGMA.

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