Newmont Corp. has agreed to relinquish 1,835 quartz mining claims, representing 88,707.5 net mineral acres, to support Canada’s, the Yukon government’s and First Nations’ efforts to maintain environmentally sensitive areas associated within the Peel Watershed Regional Land Use Plan.

President and CEO Tom Palmer said the company surrendered the claims in support of what he called “broader environmental objectives.” “We are supportive of the Peel watershed plan and are doing our part to maintain this sensitive area,” he added.

Minister of Energy, Mines and Resources John Streicker said they are working with First Nations to implement the regional land use plan for the Peel watershed.

In 2019, the Peel Plan was approved by the Yukon Government and Yukon First Nations including the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, the First Nation of Na-Cho Nyäk Dun, Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation and the Gwich’in Tribal Council. The plan provides direction on the management of land and resources in the Peel Watershed.

Historical exploration on the claims by Newmont indicated there is potential for copper and gold mineralization. However, the company has not been actively exploring the area given the Peel watershed plan and is now surrendering these claims in support of broader community objectives.

Newmont said it continues to work with the Yukon Government, Canada and First Nations to progress development of the Coffee Mine Project, which is an open-pit and heap leach gold development project located in west-central Yukon. It is currently going through the Yukon Environmental and Socioeconomic Assessment Board’s screening process.