VANCOUVER, March 6 Newmont Mining on
Monday became the latest of the world's biggest gold miners to
invest in Canada's Yukon territory, the site of a famous gold
rush 120 years ago, as miners hunt for rich, new deposits in
U.S.-based Newmont, the world's No. 2 gold producer,
unveiled an agreement with small explorer Goldstrike Resources
to spend $39.5 million to explore and develop
Goldstrike's Plateau property in the Yukon.
With this deal, Newmont follows moves by rivals Goldcorp Inc
and Agnico Eagle Mines last year into the
northwestern Canadian territory at a time when gold miners are
loosening their purse strings after five years of
belt-tightening when bullion prices fell.
"It's a stable mining jurisdiction with high-quality gold
prospects," Newmont spokesman Omar Jabara said.
Goldcorp, the world's fourth biggest gold producer by
ounces, started off the mini-stampede last May when it paid
C$520 million ($388 million) for Kaminak Gold Corp and its
Yukon-based Coffee gold project. A month later it acquired an
almost 20 percent stake in Independence Gold, which owns
a neighboring property.
In December, Agnico Eagle, the world's ninth biggest gold
producer, bought a stake in a Yukon-focused miner.
The Klondike region of the Yukon was the center of a
stampede of some 100,000 treasure seekers between 1896-1899
after gold was discovered in the area. Fortunes were made but
many left empty-handed, with some heading on to Alaska after
gold was discovered there in 1899.
($1 = 1.3414 Canadian dollars)
(Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by Tom