New federal projections paint a rather grim picture for mineral exploration in the Northwest Territories in 2015.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) says projections for mineral exploration and deposit appraisal spending in the territory are down 54% compared to last year.
To put that into context, expenditures across the country are expected to drop by 3%, though both Nunavut and the Yukon are likely to see an increase in spending.
NRCan says exploration expenditures in the NWT are projected to amount to $43.6 million this year – a sharp decline from updated 2014 estimates of $95.8 million.
The majority of spending in the NWT in 2015 is expected to be for diamonds.
Read: Chamber Of Mines Cautiously Welcomes Rise In NWT Exporation
Meanwhile, spending in Nunavut and the Yukon is expected to go up by 21% and 18% respectively.
With these latest figures, the Northwest Territories falls to eighth place in terms in mineral exploration expenditures by province and territory.
Quebec led all jurisdictions with projected expenditures of $379 million.
Prince Edward Island wasn’t represented in the report.
Read: Exploration Expenditures By Province and Territory, 2010-2015