NWT Mining Week 2020 goes virtual

16 June 2020

The Northwest Territories’ mineral resources industry plays a major role in the lives of northerners and the economy of the North. From training to employment, from business benefits to community wellness initiatives such as donations and scholarships and many other investments, the opportunities and benefits abound.

To celebrate the Northwest Territories rich mineral resources history and the many opportunities and benefits the industry offers, this year’s NWT Mining Week, an NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines initiative supported by the Government of the Northwest Territories, is going virtual.

NWT Mining Week 2020 gets underway Sunday, June 21 and concludes Saturday, June 27.

“Now more than ever, as we continue to navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic, the value of our industry to northern residents, to communities, to businesses, many of which are Indigenous-owned, and to governments, has never been clearer,” said NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines President Ken Armstrong.

“NWT Mining Week is an opportunity for everyone to acknowledge our industry’s rich history, to learn more about our modern mineral resources industry, and to envision its role as an even stronger part of the future of the North,” he added.

“The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t changed our territory’s need for mining, exploration and development,” said Katrina Nokleby, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment. “This sector has always been the biggest source of private sector jobs and income for our residents and it will be the anchor to our economic recovery efforts. As mines return to full operations or when new projects advance, they will, once again, be major buyers of products and services from Northern companies and employers to our residents,” she said. 

NWT Mining Week 2020 materials will be hosted on the MiningNorthWorks! website. The week’s activities include launch of the NWT walking app, which features geological tours, videos highlighting Ranney Hill geology, downtown Yellowknife geology, a geologist’s role, and mine training society programs. During the week, social media posts through the chamber’s Facebook and Twitter social media will highlight aspects of the mineral resources industry.

The celebration also includes a new on-line mining booklet with several fun and informational activities for kids of all ages. Produced through a partnership of the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines Mining North Works! public awareness program, the Government of the Northwest Territories, Yukon Mining Alliance, Yukon Women in Mining, and Mining Matters, the booklet provides a resource activity that can be completed at home.

See Backgrounder attached for additional information on the NWT minerals industry.

NWT operating diamond mines

  • Ekati (Dominion Diamond)
  • Diavik  (Rio Tinto/Dominion Diamond)
  • Gahcho Kué (De Beers Group)

NWT mines diamond production (Source: NRCan 2019 preliminary estimate)

  • 16.2 million carats

Value of minerals produced 2019 (Source: NRCan)

  • $1,779,706,000
  • 3.7% of Canada’s mineral production

Employment and training 2018 (Source: NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines)

  • Northern jobs: 1,540 (47%)
  • Southern jobs: 1,725 (53%)
  • 68 apprentices
  • 234 trades journeypersons since 1996

Business spend 1996-2018 (Source: NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines)

  • Northern: $14.6 billion
  • Southern: $6.4 billion

Business spend 2018 (Source: NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines)

  • Northern: $839.7 million
  • Southern: $411.0 million


  • 24% of NWT GDP in 2019 (Source: NWT Bureau of Statistics)

National facts and figures (Source: Mining Association of Canada)

  • In 2018, Canada’s mining industry contributed $97 billion, or 5%, to Canada’s total nominal GDP
  • The industry’s direct employment was 409,000 jobs and an additional 217,000 indirect jobs
  • Largest private sector employer of Indigenous peoples providing over 16,500 jobs
  • Canada ranks among the top five countries in the global production of 15 minerals and metals, many of which are integral to the low carbon technology needed for a greener future
  • Valued at $105 billion in 2018, mineral exports accounted for 19% of Canada’s total domestic exports
  • Average annual pay for a mining worker in 2018 was $123,000