09/02/2015 18:39 EDT | Updated 09/02/2016 01:12 EDT

Creditors vote to accept 11.5 cents on the dollar after Yukon mine closure

WHITEHORSE — The majority of companies owed money by the Yukon Zinc Corp. have voted to accept a restructuring plan that will see some creditors receive 11.5 cents on every dollar.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the firm appointed by B.C. Supreme Court to oversee the plan for Yukon Zinc (TSXV:YZC) and its Wolverine Mine, said 273 creditors voted Wednesday, representing $20.7 million in claims.

Of those, 267 creditors were in favour of the plan, representing claims worth $14.3.

Manager Patricia Marshall of PricewaterhouseCoopers said 47 eligible creditors with a total outstanding debt of $4.19 million did not vote.

PricewaterhouseCoopers staff were in Whitehorse on Monday to meet with creditors and explain the restructuring proposal.

Paramjit Sidhu of P.S. Sidhu Trucking, which is owed $541,458 and will lose $479,191, walked out of the meeting in frustration.

There are 52 Yukon companies owed a combined total of more than $4.2 million.

Under the approved proposal, companies owed $5,000 or less will be paid in full, though they did not get to vote. Others owed more money had the option of reducing their claims to $5,000 to receive that amount in exchange for a yes vote.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said Monday that if companies were owed $43,500 or less, they would be better off going with the $5,000 while the best option for those owed more would be taking 11.5 cents on the dollar.

About 28 of the 52 companies in the Yukon were owed $5,000 or less. Three of them were owed more than $500,000.

Yukon Zinc suspended operations at the Wolverine Mine in January, citing financial problems. It sought and received court protection in March.

More than 200 people were laid off when the mine closed.

The plan accepted Wednesday allowed the company to retain ownership of the mine, with a total outstanding debt of $648 million.

Yukon Zinc has indicated it intends to restart operations when market conditions improve. (Whitehorse Star) 

Chuck Tobin, Whitehorse Star, The Canadian Press