New Analysis Confirms Need to Bolster NWT Resource Development

9 February 2024

Yellowknife, NT (February 9, 2024) A new analysis of the Northwest Territories’ economy, “Eyes Wide Open: Starting a Conversation on the Effects of a Diminished Resource Sector in the NWT”, highlights the need for renewed efforts to harness the territory’s significant, world class mineral potential.

The analysis by Impact Economics of Yellowknife examines the effects of closure of the diamond mines and of oil & gas production, and asks the important question: What would happen if the territory’s resource sector were to disappear?

As to be expected, given the size of the resource sector, the results are startling and include:

  • A smaller economy, fewer jobs, less disposable income, and Yellowknife most affected;
  • Government will have less revenue, and
  • The population will shrink, as will its knock-on effects.

Attached are two documents arising from it:

The analysis is not meant to be alarmist: “… no one is predicting the complete collapse of the resource sector.” However, “one cannot write this scenario off as entirely academic either. Oil and diamond production could be at their end by 2030, and there doesn’t seem to be any vision, consensus, or investment into what might come next.”

“Our diamond mines employ northerners from over half the NWT’s communities, and have spent over $18 Billion with northern businesses, of which $8 billion was with Indigenous businesses,” said Kenny Ruptash, President of the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines. “The benefits of mining find their way deep into our economy, into housing, into health care, into community supports. The resource sector has been the economic foundation to the north for decades and we look forward to working with our newly elected government in collaboration with Indigenous and federal governments to refresh mineral exploration and development in the north.”

The official release from the NWT Government’s recent attendance at the Roundup mining conference is encouraging: The NWT's potential to meet the demand for critical minerals, coupled with its dedication to responsible resource development, infrastructure advancements, and commitment to a modern, made-in-the-NWT regulatory environment positions it as an attractive destination for business.

Report author Graeme Clinton and Chamber President Ruptash are available to speak with media on the report and the Chamber’s position. To arrange, contact Tom Hoefer, Senior Advisor at Tel: 867-445-7750 or email: