Canada provides COVID-19 relief for mineral tenure holders in Nunavut

13 August 2020

(Iqaluit, August 13, 2020) The NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines is pleased to learn that the Government of Canada announced support today for mineral tenure relief in Nunavut due to COVID-19. 
The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, made an Order extending certain time limits established by Nunavut Mining Regulations. The Order extends time limits to pay rent for mineral leases under the regulations that become due between March 13, 2020 and October 29, 2020 inclusively by up to six months, and not extending beyond October 30, 2020. Canada has also amended the Nunavut Mining Regulations to waive for one year, upon request in writing to the Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, the payment of annual rent on mineral leases due in the one-year period from March 13, 2020 to March 12, 2021. Any rent that has been paid before the amendment comes into force is waived in the following year.
The extension allows mineral leases to not be in default for unpaid rent due to the pandemic. Also, time limits to initiate rent collection procedures, as well as time limits for holders of recorded mineral claims to apply for a mineral lease that fall in the same time period are equally extended in the same way.
“The NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines is grateful for Canada’s actions to provide meaningful relief for costs and/or deferral of mineral tenure requirements for Nunavut,” said Ken Armstrong, President of the Chamber of Mines. “Mineral exploration is competitive, and Canada’s actions announced today in relation to mineral leases are in line with earlier relief provided by CIRNAC for mineral claims and prospecting permits in Nunavut, as well as with relief being provided by other jurisdictions in Canada. We would like to thank the Minister and his staff for advancing this and we look forward to continuing our work with Canada to create a strong recovery from the pandemic.” 
According to Canada’s announcement earlier today, “The Government of Canada’s goal is to ensure that everyone, including Indigenous peoples and Northerners working in the mining industry, get the help they need to weather this crisis, and that the North is well-positioned for a strong recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 across all sectors of the economy.”
Natural Resources Canada had projected in February that mineral exploration would decline further in Nunavut in 2020 (see data attached). The COVID-19 pandemic and the appropriate actions taken to protect the territory of Nunavut have further affected exploration investment and there are fewer companies exploring today than in previous years. 
“The Chamber will continue its work with the Territorial and Federal Governments to improve investor confidence to ensure that the mineral resource sector will continue to be the back-bone of sustainable Northern economic recovery, will assist with Indigenous reconciliation processes and will help exert Canadian sovereignty in a quickly evolving Arctic environment,” says Armstrong. 
For media requests or more information on the Nunavut mining industries, please visit the website at or contact Terry Dobbin, General Manager-Nunavut, at Tel: 867-222-5281 or email:
Charts in the full release are generated from statistics released by Natural Resources Canada in February 2020 and available here