Chamber asks City of Yellowknife to Proclaim Support for Mineral Industry
8 January 2019
(Yellowknife, NT – January 8, 2019) Presenting to Yellowknife City Council and an overflowing room of supporters yesterday, the Chamber of Mines urged the Council to include actions to support a healthy mineral industry in building their first strategic plan.
The Northwest Territories and Yellowknife economies are at risk due to a maturing diamond mining industry, insufficient new projects to replace future mine closures, and exploration investment that continues to languish. The Conference Board of Canada reached the same conclusion in its 2018 Territorial Economic Outlook Forecasts, as did the NWT Premier’s Indigenous Summit in October, and the Indigenous Leaders Economic Forum in December. As NWT Premier McLeod stated: “… the NWT is facing significant economic challenges and steps need to be taken immediately.”
As the largest mineral industry beneficiary, the City of Yellowknife has a vested interest in regaining a robust and healthy mineral industry. In 2017, the city was home to over 1,000 mining industry employees, and the majority of the $800 million spent by the mines that same year was through Yellowknife based service and supply companies. Yellowknife continues to be the mineral exploration hub for the NWT and western Nunavut, however declining investment over the past 12 years has seen the NWT lose out on over $1.4 billion in exploration. This has taken its toll on local air charter, diamond drilling, expediting, retail, Indigenous, service and geological consulting businesses.
The Chamber asked Council to establish a pillar in its strategic plan to support the mineral industry and include the following elements:
- Seek infrastructure investment, in particular the Taltson-Snare transmission line to provide cheaper, greener power for residents, businesses and the mineral industry;
- Curb spending to control taxes, given the strong potential for future revenue decreases from the mineral industry and downward pressure on appraised property values;
- Rejuvenate and promote Yellowknife as the road, air, logistics and support centre for the NWT and Nunavut mineral exploration industry; become the employment and business hub for the NWT and western Nunavut mining industry;
- Support increased awareness of career opportunities and the mineral industry’s importance including related education at the high school and polytechnic level;
- Lobby and collaborate with governments for transmission infrastructure support, for Yellowknife’s success is governments’ success too.
The Chamber asked the City to incorporate these recommendations in its upcoming strategic plan, and to further reaffirm its mining roots and mining future by officially proclaiming their support for the mineral industry, as other cities have done.
The Chamber’s presentation can be viewed and downloaded here.
For more information on the NWT and Nunavut mining industries, please visit the website at www.miningnorth.com or contact Tom Hoefer, Executive Director at Tel: 867-873-5281 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.