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Supreme Court of Yukon Considers Duty to Consult and “Free Entry” Mining System
On November 15, 2011, the Supreme Court of Yukon released its decision in Ross River Dena Council v. Government of Yukon, 2011 YKSC 84. The case is important as it is the first court decision to consider the issue of whether the Government of Yukon has a duty to consult with First Nations when recording quartz mineral claims under the Quartz Mining Act (the “Act”). It is also somewhat unique as the recording of a quartz mineral claim by the Mining Recorder is not a discretionary act under the “free entry” system established by the Act.