The NWT is hoping to replenish its pool of prospectors through a series of upcoming courses.
Two-day courses will be offered in Yellowknife, Dettah and Behchoko starting on September 26, building on the success of similar programs held last year.
The courses will be taught both in the classroom and the field and will be led by renowned Canadian prospector Jessica Björkman.
Participants will be taught bush navigation and safety, sampling methods, claim staking, basic geology and regulatory information.
Organizers say prospectors have helped make the NWT mining industry what it is today but many of them have either retired or moved on.
They’re hopeful the courses will help generate interest in the field once again.
“We’ve got a lot of land and a lot of rocks here,” said local mining consultant David Connelly.
“A lot of those rocks have great minerals so if you’re spending time on the land why not also have the skill set to identify if those rocks might be valuable.
“We also want to be good regulators and good governors of the land who look out for the environment when those rocks are exploited into minerals.
“The best way to understand that is to have an understanding of the mineral prospecting and mining cycle.”
Connelly says many of the territory’s prospectors are no longer working in the field here because the mine cycle is down or because they’ve retired.
He’s hopeful there will be more interest this year following last year’s courses. Although Connelly says he’d like to see more indigenous representation this time around.
“The courses sold out last year but we didn’t have the type of participation that we would’ve liked to have from Aboriginal communities.
“Prospecting is walking over the land and looking at the rocks and who knows those rocks better than the people who have lived here over the millennia.”
The courses will take place in Yellowknife between September 26 and 27, in Behchoko between September 29 and 30 and in Dettah between October 3 and 4.
You can apply on the NWT Mine Training Society’s website or by calling them at (867) 765-0445 before September 18.