Archives of the late Jane Gaffin, Yukon writer/ journalist

I recently stumbled upon two repositories of articles and books written by Jane. Jane was a staunch defender of Yukon’s prospectors and the mining industry. She was also highly focused on Freedom and Gun Rights and against the UN and it’s agencies. Jane hated the Yukon bureacracy when it went off the rails, and led towards what she called  “Yukonslavia”! And Jane wasn’t afraid to name names.

As Jane describes the site:

A WordPress site primarily focused on government bottom-spanking and political Blastograms


This site includes 3 very extensive compilations of mining related articles and musings. One is on the Whitehorse Copper belt, it’s history, geology and the people who explored and mined there. Another is an archive of articles associated with the late prospector/ geologist Jim McFaull and his trials and tribulations. This includes Jim’s long time struggle to retain the powers of the Yukon Quartz Mining Act. The third (and longest) archive is related to prospector Al Carlos, his life and times with a focus on a run-in with authority that demonstrated the general lack of gun rights in Canada.

The second site is

This site has a large list of articles by Jane that only partially overlap with the WordPress writings. Quite a few stories about prospectors….


Strategic Metals Ltd. announces drill results

Strategic Metals Ltd. announces drill results

from the Mars, Hopper and Hartless Joe properties. The results weren’t great…

Interestingly, at the Mars the drill target was gold in veins instead of the porphyry Cu-Au target we all know and love.

At the Hopper they drilled in the vicinity of some nice high grade Cu-Au skarn hits from previous years, with not so good results. They still haven’t really tested the huge porphyry target…

On the plus side, Strategic has as many properties in the Yukon as anyone, and they still have roughly $.30 per share in cash (unless they went nuts in the last 6 months). So for $.43 per share you get lots of great targets and the money to test them. 122 properties, 5 JVs, 1 option, plus some royalties. And partial ownership of the other Archer Cathro companies – Atac, Rockhaven, Silver Range.


Alexco Expands Bermingham Silver Deposit

Alexco Expands Bermingham Silver Deposit

Lots of nice, thick, high grade intersections including 7.16m grading 4,375 g/t (140.7 oz/t) silver at the Bear zone of Bermingham. Should add about a years worth of mill feed at well above average grade (perhaps 50 oz/T+?). The mill can do 400 tpd, so 146,000 tpy…

Soon they will announce the new ore reserve/ resource estimate for this zone, just in time for year end tax loss selling. Then soon after Alexco will put out an updated PEA, which will include this nice new high grade zone and probably show very decent economics. Then at the Roundup the great Seymour Isles (Julian Boldy award winner) will give a talk explaining the deposit to the world.

So time to buy yourself a few shares for Christmas?



This year’s award goes to Yukon’s own Sue Craig. Congratulations, and well-deserved. Tonnes of volunteer hours.

“The Gold Pan Award is coordinated and presented by the AME BC Board of Directors to a recipient who has contributed exceptional meritorious service to the Mineral Exploration Community through the Association for Mineral Exploration BC.”


Here is a really great photo I found of her on the internet….


Sorry for the long delay in posting  – I had a very bad case of kennel cough. 95% better now…

So, the Minto mine is looking to resume open pit mining now that the price of copper has gone up a bit.


At present Minto is mining about 2,000 tonnes per day from underground, at a grade of about 2% Cu. The underground ore is about 10m thick, with top and bottom cuts taken out, then longhole for the rest. A fairly efficient operation it seems. There are four stockpiles on surface, with grades ranging from about 1% Cu to 4% Cu. The mill runs at 4,000 tonnes per day, and the material is blended to an optimum grade around 2% Cu.

There is quite a lot of underground resources remaining at around 2%Cu or a bit less, but a lot of this material hasn’t been adequately drilled off to bring it into mineable reserves. I think most of it would be less than 10m thick, probably more like 4m thick and suitable for room and pillar mining. So slightly less efficient than the current u/g mining. A couple million tonnes reported from Minto East, Area 2/118 and Copper Keel zones. And development of access is required to mine the new areas.

For open pit mining, there is a lot of tonnage remaining, but at much lower grades than mined to date. There are M & I resources totalling 45 million tonnes at 1.07% Cu and Inferred resources of 25 million tonnes at 0.83% Cu.

The corporate website claims there is 7 years remaining mine life, however in this latest news release they are talking about mining only until the end of 2017 if all goes well. So the price of copper over the next year will be critical to continuing mining into 2018 and beyond. The great Otto Rock has already explained how Capstone has shot themselves in the foot by using the so-called “costless collar” to lock in prices below $2.54.  I suppose the company will need something more like $3+ per pound to be able to continue mining the low grade pit material for the remaining resources. And they need to invest in developing more of the high grade underground stuff – if they can continue to produce 2% material at 2,000 tpd from underground it will make the 1% pit stuff more palatable.

Anyways, Minto has been a real success story for the Yukon. It started operations in 2007 at 1800 tpd milling rate and only a 4 year initial mine life. The mine has paid millions of dollars  year in royalties to the Selkirk First Nation. I am sure that they spent it wisely…

Oh yeah, at 4,000 tonnes per day they mill about 1.46 million tonnes per year. The 70 million tonnes of resources noted above COULD therefore last for 47 years, assuming high enough copper prices! So when the mine shuts down in the next year or so, please, please ignore the calls for a permanent shutdown and reclamation of the site! There will be more mining to come later.