NU mineral production value to increase, NWT to decline

27 February 2020

(Yellowknife, NT – February 27, 2020) Driven by the addition of a new gold mine, and a slight increase in iron ore, Nunavut’s 2019 mineral production value is projected to rise significantly. In the Northwest Territories, value of diamond production for the same period is projected to decline, according to the latest Natural Resources Canada statistics.

Natural Resources Canada estimates 2019 mineral production at:

  • $1.3 billion for Nunavut, an increase of 27%, or $279 million
  • $1.8 billion for Northwest Territories, a decline of 13%, or $262 million

“For Nunavut, the biggest contributing commodity is gold, with ramp up of the Meliadine mine during the year, combined with a steady to strengthening gold price,” said Ken Armstrong,
NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines president. “On the NWT side, however, diamond production declined by several million carats and diamond prices are down as well,” he added.

The NWT has three producing diamond mines: Ekati, Diavik and Gahcho Kué. Nunavut has three gold mines, Meadowbank-Amaruq, Hope Bay, and Meliadine, and one iron ore mine, Mary River. Meliadine achieved commercial production in May 2019, and the new Amaruq deposit began contributing ore to the Meadowbank mine later in the year. Nunavut gold mines also produce a small amount of silver.

Combined, the two territories’ 2019 total value of mineral production is expected to be
$3.1 billion, unchanged from 2018.

Nationally, NRCan projects the value of mineral production for 2019 to be $48 billion, down $1 billion, or two percent from 2018.

See backgrounder below for charts of 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