Mining revenues jump in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut

19 March 2018

Yellowknife, NT (March 19, 2018) Mineral production has increased significantly to over $2 billion in the Northwest Territories, and continues to increase to nearly $850 million in Nunavut according to recently released Federal government statistics.

Preliminary estimates for 2017 mineral production posted by Natural Resources Canada show that the total value of NWT mining production is $2.070 billion, up $563 million (37%) from $1.507 billion in 2016. Of this:

  • Diamond production accounts for nearly the entire value at $2.060 billion, up $574 million (39%) from $1.486 billion; and
  • With no other minerals produced in the NWT, sand, gravel, and stone production value accounts for the remaining $10.5 million

In Nunavut, the total value of mining production for 2017 is estimated at $844 million, up $144 million (21%) from $700 million in 2016. Of this:

  • Gold production value is $594 million, up $88 million (17%) from $506 million in 2016;
  • Silver production value is $0.6 million, down $4.4 million (88%) from 5.0 million last year; and
  • Iron ore is estimated at $250 million, up $61 million (32%) from $189 million last year.

In Canada, preliminary estimates for 2017 production are $43.904 billion, an increase of $2.860 billion (7%) from $41.044 billion in 2016.

“The Gahcho Kué diamond mine, by reaching commercial production in 2017 and surpassing its total carat target, played a big part in the NWT increase to over $2 billion, a value we haven’t seen since 2011,” said Chamber of Mines President Gary Vivian. “In Nunavut, the numbers are up from increased gold and iron ore production, and this is encouraging given that in 2009, Nunavut had zero mineral production. The statistics show why mining is the largest private sector contributor to both territorial economies.”  

See attached Backgrounder for charts of the NWT and Nunavut data. Visit Natural Resources Canada’s site here to examine detailed source statistics.

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