Chamber of Mines COVID-19 Update

11 April 2020

The COVID-19 crisis is creating significant challenges for all Canadians, most importantly from a health perspective, but also from an economic perspective. Governments across the country are taking steps to get us through this with minimal damage, and it is important that we all do our part.

Our mining members continue to use diligence in operating our mines so as to meet public health requirements and to protect workers and communities. Virtually all have reduced their workforces and sent their small northern community employees home for protection, have put into place detailed health protocols, and have lengthened their work rotations. In some cases, production has been reduced, and is also being affected by significantly lower market prices and higher operating costs. One mine has stopped production.

Exploration has ground to a halt in both territories as companies take actions to protect their workers, and as financial markets dry up.

The Chamber of Mines continues to be busy helping to identify actions for governments to take to minimize economic damage – in the short term by quickly helping the northern minerals industry through the crisis, and for the longer term, thinking of ideas on how to repair and rejuvenate the northern economy. The Chamber has had meetings and corresponded with the Governments of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut, the Federal Ministries of Northern Affairs, Natural Resources, Crown Indigenous Relations, and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, Territorial Members of Parliament and Senators, as well as ongoing involvement with the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation. 

We would like to share with our members, and those in the public who recognize the value of our industry, some of the supportive actions taken by governments and the Chamber to date. We will update this from time to time as we learn more.

We will continue our efforts in both territories to seek supportive government actions to protect and eventually rejuvenate the minerals industry.

Be safe, stay healthy!