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NWT’s financial future questioned after national report details aging mining sector

Yesterday afternoon, the Government of the Northwest Territories released its broad vision for climate change and energy in the North.

The release of the vision comes after the Conference Board of Canada made waves with its Spring 2018 assessment of the NWT’s future. The Board detailed that an aging domestic population and the eventual closure of three diamond mines (Diavik, Ekati and Gahcho Kue) will lead to a declining NWT economy.

While at a mining delegation in Vancouver earlier this year, Premier Bob McLeod expressed his desire to invest in other minerals.

Resource development plays an important role in the NWT Economy. The opportunity to engage with industry stakeholders at this conference allowed us as leaders to advance our objectives on growing the territorial economy. We need to work together to demonstrate the NWT’s support for mining and help it keep its place as an important source of jobs and income for NWT residents.

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The GNWT has put a focus on mining for environmentally friendly minerals, such as lithium, nickel and cobalt. An all-access road was recently approved for construction and will connect the community of Whati to the territory’s highway system at highway 3. The new road will also be used to connect Fortune Minerals’ potential new cobalt mine to a hydrometallurgical plant near Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

The Board of Canada’s report also ruled these cleaner minerals would not power the territory’s economy the same way gold and diamond has in the past; however, the report says the NWT will still be able to rely on the Government sector for maintaining employment.

It’s worth noting that it is possible TerraX Minerals’ new expansion with the Yellowknife City Gold Project could help offset the territory’s potential financial decline by striking gold.

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