NWT residents ‘overwhelmingly’ in support of mining, says survey

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Survey results published this week suggest NWT residents are overwhelmingly in support of the territory’s mining sector.

The poll was conducted by national research company Abacus Data and commissioned by the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines back in March.

Researchers were able to survey 510 adults living in the Northwest Territories over the phone. An additional 15 interviews were conducted last week.

Respondents were asked to assess the industry’s performance based on its economic contribution, treatment of employees, environmental care, worker safety and its relationship with indigenous communities.

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The margin of error is set at plus or minus 4.4 per cent, which represents how closely the random sample is believed to represent the views of the territory’s 40,000-plus residents.

What did the survey find?

According to the poll, “residents believe the industry’s economic contributions are substantial, and companies’ environmental and safety practices are meeting or exceeding their expectations.

“As a result, respondents said they would welcome new mines and more government support for mining.”

Here are some key findings:

  • About eight in 10 people have positive feelings about mining and mineral exploration companies operating in the NWT
  • 88 per cent believe the 18th Legislative Assembly is supportive of mining however, the majority would like to see an even more supportive approach in the future
  • 86 per cent believe a strong mining sector is vital to the long-term health of the NWT economy
  • 86 per cent say mining is good for the NWT
  • 84 per cent are worried about the future of the NWT economy
  • 83 per cent say regulation of the sector works well
  • 82 per cent would like to see more mining projects in the NWT and hope to see more government support for such activity

Gary Vivian, president of the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines, says public confidence in the sector “is a reflection of the way in which companies conduct themselves as good corporate citizens.”

He added: “These results will serve as a helpful indicator of residents’ enthusiasm for mining and their strong support for measures that will enable the industry to seize the wealth of growth opportunities in the NWT.”

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