Minerals industry will participate in creation of new NWT Mineral Resources Act

13 February 2019

(Yellowknife, NT – February 13, 2019) Bill 34, the Mineral Resources Act (MRA) for the Northwest Territories (NWT) received second reading in the NWT Legislative Assembly yesterday and will now proceed to public consultation. This is a critically important bill for the future of the NWT’s minerals industry.

The NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines will participate in the public consultations on Bill 34, representing the interests and needs of:

  • Northern residents and businesses who want to ensure the MRA lays a strong foundation for the minerals industry and the important benefits it creates for the NWT;
  • Companies and individuals who are already working under the current mining regulations, and need their investments respected by the MRA; and
  • New investors the NWT needs to attract in order to sustain and grow its minerals industry.

Today, more than ever before, actions are needed to foster the NWT’s minerals industry. Our diamond mines continue to create significant benefits, with nearly 60,000 person years of jobs created to date, $20 billion in expenditures, and billions of dollars in taxes and royalties to public and Indigenous governments. Our modern mines have provided unprecedented benefits to more communities, more businesses, and more Indigenous residents than ever in our history. 

For a variety of reasons, these benefits are at risk (see also Attachments).

  • Our mines are maturing and their ability to maintain strong benefits is slowing. Mine closures will reduce northern jobs, business, taxes, and the NWT economy overall.
  • Mineral exploration investment is needed to make new mines, which provides a renewable minerals industry. However, exploration investment is currently unhealthy, and for the twelfth year in a row, remains the lowest of all three territories.
  • More land than ever in our history has been closed to exploration, and without access to land and healthy investment, exploration cannot occur, and new mines cannot be found.

“It is critically important that the Mineral Resources Act is designed to help keep investment strong,” said Gary Vivian, President of the Chamber. “We urge the Standing Committee, and those that appear before it, to insist that this legislation be crafted to make the NWT a more attractive jurisdiction for responsible, sustainable and beneficial exploration and mining investment. If it does not do that, we will have damaged the very foundation that supports the minerals industry and the continued strong mining benefits it generates for the territory. We northerners have much at stake in getting this right.”

The Chamber encourages the public to read the very helpful GNWT information packages prepared by the GNWT to help understand what the Mineral Resources Act is meant to accomplish and the basics of how that could look in practice, and the reasons why these policies were chosen. The online series is available here: Understanding the Proposed Mineral Resources Act.

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: executivedirector@miningnorth.com.

Open the pdf version to see the Attached Tables.