Illegal Mining Trail at McGregor creek

There is a big stink out there about an illegal mining trail. Bad miners!

Illegal mining trail ‘a big deal,’ says Yukon First Nation chief eric-fairclough

                                                                              Chief Fairclough looking concerned…

Prospector and drilling company face charges related to a bulldozed bush trail, north of Carmacks

I don’t really have any inside knowledge about the sordid affair, but have dug up the claim map.

halo-mcgregor

At first I thought it was just the placer claims that were accessed by the trail, but 21km extends it all the way to the Halo claims. The placer claims were staked in June, while the 250 Halo quartz claims were staked in August (and are owned 100% by Thi My Linh Pham).

A bulldozer trail that is pushed off-claims has been a big deal for decades, as much of this trail appears to be. Also, map sheet 115I/8 shows an old trail that leads to the headwaters of McGregor creek – was this rehabilitated? Still, fixing up old trails has been verboten off claims for decades. Or was the dozer walked in with blade up – doesn’t sound like it in the article, but would that change things?

Here is the big question for prospectors as I see it. If the bulldozer trail had only been on the placer claims, is this still a problem with governments and regulators? It wouldn’t be in the Klondike or other mining ghettos. But this creek is new to placer mining as far as I can tell. You stake claims in June, and MUST perform physical work on them within one year, usually by drilling or trenching. None of that pay-in-lieu stuff that the quartz guys get. If this activity is blocked or delayed by bureaucrats until everything is frozen the miner is screwed, as the creek might not thaw until the end of June. Effectively vetoing or expropriating the claims.

Oh yeah, the project was also funded in part by a YMEP grant. D’Oh!