Keno Hill Silver Mines
Between 1914 and 1989, miners extracted 6.8 million kilograms of silver from the Silver Trail area. Various companies and industry had stakes in this productive region, but the main player was the United Keno Hill Mine, which operated the mine sites and the mining town of Elsa for almost seventy years.
The Keno Hill Mine closed abruptly in 1989 due to falling mineral prices. Most miners and their families who lived in Keno City or Elsa left the Yukon, leaving behind houses, furniture and old mining equipment where it stood. Only a few people remained, most of whom live in Keno City and maintain the town’s services and museum. Elsa is a ghost town with no remaining residents. The shut-down of the mine in 1989 left serious environmental impacts behind. In 2006, the Yukon Government sold the assets of the previous United Keno Hill Mine to Alexco Resource Corp, and they resumed silver mining in 2009. Alexco Resource Corp is the current owner of Elsa and the mining activity in the area, which fluctuates according to mineral prices.