Bill 34, the Mineral Resources Act (MRA) for the Northwest Territories received second reading in the NWT Legislative Assembly on Feb. 13 and will now proceed to public consultation. This is a critical bill for the future of the NWT’s minerals industry.
The NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines will participate in the public consultations on Bill 34, representing the interests and needs of:
• Northern residents and businesses who want the MRA to lay a strong foundation for the minerals industry and the important benefits it creates for the NWT;
• Companies and individuals who are already working under the current mining regulations, and need their investments respected by the MRA; and
• New investors the NWT needs to attract to sustain and grow its minerals industry.
Today, more than ever, actions are needed to foster the NWT’s minerals industry. Its diamond mines continue to create significant benefits, with nearly 60,000 person years of jobs created to date, $20 billion in expenditures, and billions of dollars in taxes and royalties to public and Indigenous governments. NWT’s modern mines have provided unprecedented benefits to more communities, more businesses, and more Indigenous residents than ever before. For a variety of reasons, these benefits are at risk.
• Mines are maturing and their ability to maintain strong benefits is slowing. Closures will reduce jobs, business, taxes, and the NWT economy overall.
• Exploration investment is needed for new mines, which provides a renewable minerals industry. However, exploration investment is currently unhealthy, and for the 12th year in a row, remains the lowest of all three territories.
• More land than ever has been closed to exploration, and without access to land and healthy investment, exploration can’t occur and new mines can’t be found.
The Chamber encourages the public to read the very helpful GNWT information packages prepared by the GNWT to help understand what the Mineral Resources Act is meant to accomplish and the basics of how that could look in practice, and the reasons why these policies were chosen. For more information on the NWT and Nunavut mining industries, visit the website at www.miningnorth.com or contact Tom Hoefer, Executive Director at Tel: 867-873-5281 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.