The mining industry plays an important role in the lives of Yukoners. The Yukon Chamber of Mines wraps up their annual mining week with a free interpretive tour of the Whitehorse Copper Belt region on the evening of May 4th and the Mining Exploration and Discovery Camp on Friday May 5th at the S.S. Klondike Historical Site in Whitehorse. The Camp features activities such as gold panning, geode smashing and mineral exhibits. Participants in the interpretive tour are taught about the area’s history, minerals prevalent in the area and the technology used in mining during the period between 1899 and 1920 when the Copper King mine was operational. “Bring a sense of adventure and excitement to learn and have fun while doing so,” says Richard Eden, communications and engagement coordinator at the Yukon Chamber of Mines. “The Exploration and Discovery Camp gives Yukoners an opportunity to get hands on with some of Yukon’s largest mining related organizations. Having the opportunity to participate in some of the techniques and equipment used to make Yukon one of the world’s most prominent mining industries.

“Every year is great, but this year will be even better. New this year we will see a flight simulator from Alkan Air; Augmented Reality Sandbox from Energy, Mines and Resources; tours on the bow of S.S. Klondike; participation from the Council of Yukon First Nations and so much more.”

Eden asserts that much of the Yukon’s infrastructure and economic growth can be attributed to the mining industry, so it’s important to pay tribute to it.

In addition to celebrating the industry Eden says, “Mining and Geology Week provides an opportunity to educate the public about the innovations and diversity seen within it.”

The Yukon Women in Mining are organizing an extravaganza tour for the following week, kicking off with an exhibition about women in mining on May 11th and 12th at Shipyards Park in Whitehorse.

“This new and exciting project will bring educational and hands-on activities related to our mineral sector to young women, youth, entrepreneurs, community members and leaders in the Yukon’s communities of Pelly, Faro and Dawson City,” says Eden. “This is an experiential, interactive version of a career fair that goes far beyond traditional and conventional booth and trade show format to engage everyone in real-life conversations and activities that affect their career choices, communities and opportunities in Yukon.”

The Chamber of Mines is partnering with the Council of Yukon First Nations for the first time this year. “It is key to note that all of Yukon’s land base is the traditional territory of Yukon’s 14 First Nations,” Eden says. “Mining is the industry that is on the front lines of reconciliation when engaging and consulting with First Nations and it is important for children and the public to learn and appreciate how deeply symbiotic the relationship is.”

Mining Week is an annual celebration that occurs during the first week of May (which is mining month in the Yukon). “This week-long recognition is important as it gives mining organizations a spotlight to provide opportunities to learn about the industry and its growth with Yukon residents.”

The interpretive tour of the Whitehorse Copper Belt region is from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on May 4th. The tour meets at the rest stop on the east side of the Alaska Highway (300 meters south of Robert Service Campground). To register for this event please contact [email protected] The Mining Exploration and Discovery Camp is on Friday May 5th at the S.S. Klondike Historical Site in Whitehorse. It runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is open to anyone interested. Both events are welcome to families of all ages.