Statistics project exploration down in NWT and really down in Nunavut

13 March 2018


Statistics project exploration down in NWT and really down in Nunavut

(Yellowknife, NT – March 13, 2018) Recently released Federal government projections for 2018 mineral exploration and deposit appraisal spending project decreases in Nunavut and NWT, but an increase in Yukon and Canada. Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) Exploration and Deposit Appraisal Expenditures, by Province and Territory provides the following new spending intentions for 2018:

  • $81.3 million in NWT, a decrease of $8.7 million (10%) from 2017 expenditures of $90.0 million;
  • $110.7 million in Nunavut, a decrease of $58.6 million (35%) from $169.3 million in 2017;
  • $172.3 million in Yukon, an increase of $7.2 million (4%) from $165.1 million in 2017; and
  • $2,238.2 million in Canada, an increase of $126.9 million (6%) from $2,111.3 million for 2017.

Exploration investment is up for the second year in Canada and also in Yukon. However, Nunavut is projected to see a significant fall, marking three years in a row. NWT is projected to experience a smaller decrease. From a competitiveness perspective, both the NWT and Nunavut are projected to see their share of Canadian exploration investment continue to fall.

“Our members tell us that uncertainties and difficulties around accessing land is a major contributor to reduced exploration investment in both territories,” said Gary Vivian, President of the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines. “The recent Fraser Institute Survey of Mining Companies 2017 reinforced the problem in Nunavut, which is linked to land access on some Inuit owned lands and a confusing land use planning process.”

“We continue to advise governments – both public and Indigenous – that they can turn these statistics around by taking actions to regain investor confidence,” Vivian added. “Nunavut has to address its land access issues. In the NWT, work on the proposed Mineral Resources Act and other legislation must be to improve the investment climate. Settling long-outstanding land claims, and reducing the over 30 per cent of lands off limits to development would also help, as would proactive marketing by Indigenous governments.”

Charts of historical and projected expenditures in northern Canada are in the Backgrounder attached, and the Chamber has summarized NRCan’s complete data in chart form here.

For more information on the NWT and Nunavut mining industries, contact Tom Hoefer, Executive Director at Tel: 867-873-5281 or email: Visit the Chamber website at: