Skeena Resources Ltd. v. Mill

Partner Karen Carteri and associate act for Caitlin Ohama-Darcus for Richard Mill, a recorded holder of mineral rights in connection with a dispute relating to a mineral claim in British Columbia. The opposing party is Skeena Resources Ltd., whose predecessors, Prime Resources Group Inc. and Barrick Gold Corporation, operated a gold mine known as the Eskay Creek mine between 1994 and 2008. The central issue in dispute is the rights to the minerals contained in certain valuable gold mine tailings from the former Eskay Creek mine.

The Chief Gold Commissioner of British Columbia determined the dispute in favour of Mr. Mill under the Mineral Tenure Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 292.  Skeena appealed the decision. Prior to the hearing of the appeal, the Tahltan Central Government, the governing and representative body of the Tahltan Nation, sought leave to intervene. The Tahltan Central Government was granted leave to intervene on a limited basis (Skeena Resources Ltd. v. Mill, 2022 BCSC 1360). On the appeal, the court upheld the Chief Gold Commissioner’s decision in favour of Mr. Mill (Skeena Resources Ltd. v. Mill, 2022 BCSC 2032).  This case contributes to the limited jurisprudence on the issue of title to mine tailings under the province’s Mineral Tenure Act, and addresses the proper scope of participation by both public interest interveners and administrative decision-makers.

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