Interview: Canada's Yukon seeks Chinese investment in mining sector

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, October 25, 2013
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The Yukon, one of Canada's northern territories, hopes Chinese investors will invest in its rich but underdeveloped mining sector, a local official said.

Murray Arsenault, the Yukon Territory's deputy economic development minister, told Xinhua recently the territory initially became famous during the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 1800s that created great fortunes, but the area also had a varied group of mineral resources to be tapped.

Among the base and higher-brand value metals found in the territory are lead, zinc, copper, silver, tungsten, molybdenum and platinum, coal, among others.

Arsenault will be in China on Nov. 1-8 to attend the China Mining Forum in Tianjin before going to Beijing to meet with government officials and company leaders.

He said he would be promoting advanced mining investment opportunities that have "moved into the pre-development and development stage."

"We don't have any pending agreements that we're ready to sign. What we want to say to Chinese investors and Chinese people is that the Yukon values relationships that we have and we're really looking forward to building new relationships," he said.

"The Yukon has opportunities that are ready to go from anywhere on the mining perspective, from the exploration side, and properties that are very enticing and would look forward to having someone come to work with them to someone who's ready to make that institutional investment where they're looking to taking the mine into construction and development."

The vast territory, which is home to just over 36,000 people, has been on the radar of Chinese mining companies who over the past eight years have invested more than 700 million Canadian dollars (675.1 U.S. million dollars) in six major projects, said Arsenault.

Arsenault admitted the international investment climate for mining in the Yukon has "pulled back" in recent months, but the territory has a "great relationship with the Chinese investors that we have here now" and we're looking to build on those successes.

"We've seen capital as not as readily available, but there are fantastic investment opportunities available here in the Yukon. We have mines that are permitted and they are simply awaiting some investors to step forward and help them take their property to the next level in their development."

While there are no pending mining agreements to be signed on Arsenault's upcoming trip, he notes for those willing to invest, the logistics of getting the mined products overseas will not be a concern with the territory bordering Alaska.

"Yukon has actually got a large and pretty well developed, considering how northern we are, transportation infrastructure and we have great relationships with our friends at the two Alaskan ports that are available for our disposal. So we don't consider logistics to be an insurmountable challenge in the Yukon at all." Endi

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