Chamber presentation to the Standing Committee on Bill 34 – the NWT Mineral Resources Act

9 May 2019

Presentation to the Standing Committee on Economic Development and Environment on Bill 34 – the Mineral Resources Act

May 8, 2019

Appearing:         Gary Vivian, President, NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines (Presenter)

                                Glen Koropchuk, Treasurer
                                Tom Hoefer, Executive Director

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

We are here today to highlight the economic importance of the mineral industry sector and to express our serious concerns for the health of the sector should the MRA be passed in its current form.

Let us begin with emphasizing the obvious, that the minerals industry is critically important to the NWT and to its residents.

In 1991, the NWT received a gift when two inquisitive explorers discovered diamonds where nobody expected them to be found.

In the years since, we have collectively turned those diamonds into the most unprecedented benefits the territory has experienced.

  • training programs that have helped create nearly 1,500 jobs, a stunning 7% of the entire working labour force;
  • tens of thousands of person years of jobs;
  • billions of dollars in northern and Indigenous business spending;
  • billions in taxes and royalties; and
  • hundreds of millions of dollars in community benefits through benefit agreements, as well as scholarships, corporate donations, etc.

These benefits are so great that in a good year, direct and indirect benefits from mining and exploration could reach half of the NWT’s economy and all with responsible mining.

This is certainly not the industry of the past.

Unfortunately, these phenomenal benefits are now at risk as our diamond mines mature, and we have no equivalent replacements.

  • Economists at the Conference Board of Canada have alerted us to this.
  • The Premier’s Economic Summit with Indigenous leaders also recognized and flagged its concern.
  • So too did the Indigenous Leaders’ Summit last winter.

You might think that since exploration is the lifeblood of mining, we should be counting on it to help find new mines and prevent this.

However ... 


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