Fostering resource development in the Territories
Much of Canada's mineral resource potential lies in the territories. There are existing mineral deposits with the potential to support resource extraction projects within the territories, including diamonds, gold, base metals and silver, tungsten, uranium, rare earth element, iron ore, zinc, and copper. The Government of Canada supports sustainable mining including the mining of critical minerals that will help move Canada to a low carbon/green economy. Critical minerals are essential building blocks for renewable energy and clean technology applications (e.g. batteries, permanent magnets, solar panels and wind turbines), advanced manufacturing, consumer electronics and other applications.
As of 2019, the value of mineral production in the North was projected as $3.3 billion: $1,817 million in Northwest Territories, $1,315 million in Nunavut, and $169 million in Yukon.Footnote 1
The mining sector is a cornerstone of the northern economy and is a significant customer of territorial and Indigenous businesses across sectors including communications, energy and transportation infrastructure, and commercial services.
The energy sector, including primary energy sources such as oil, natural gas, and renewables, also contributes to the northern economy, adding $197 million to northern gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019 and creating over 546 jobs, primarily in oil and gas, electricity, and construction.Footnote 2
CanNor supports the sustainable development of the mining and energy sectors in a way that increases community capacity, maximizes jobs and creates prosperity in the territories, and has positive economic impacts in communities. Responsible and sustainable resource development balances economic, environmental, and social considerations and integrates the use of Indigenous knowledge into decision-making processes.
The natural resource exploration and development potential in Nunavut, Yukon and the Northwest Territories draws global interest and investment. Recognizing that future prosperity across the territories requires the development of its natural resources, the Government of Canada is working to create more efficient northern regulatory regimes that will continue to attract investment, create high-value jobs, safeguard the environment and ensure meaningful consultation with Indigenous peoples.
CanNor, through its regional economic development activities and its Northern Projects Management Office (NPMO), works with industry, territorial governments, communities, Indigenous groups and organizations and other partners to foster resource development across the territories.
Through its suite of funding programs, CanNor's support for the resource development sector has included funding for training, geosciences and other mining-related projects. CanNor's program funding helps attract investment to this sector, and increases the capacity of the territorial labour force to take greater advantage of employment opportunities.