Northwest Territories economic future ‘grim,’ says report – by Emily Blake (CBC News North – May 1, 2018)

Mining output expected to drop and unemployment to rise by 2040

The economic future for the Northwest Territories is “grim,” according to the Conference Board of Canada’s newest forecast for all three territories.

According to the independent research group’s report, peak diamond production came last year for the N.W.T and will begin to fall in the coming years. All three operating diamond mines in the territory — Ekati, Diavik and Gahcho Kué — will close by 2034.

“When Ekati closes in 2034, it will be the end of 43 years of diamond mining in the Northwest Territories unless a new mining diamond project sees the light of day,” the report stated.

And the effects on the economy are expected to be widespread, resulting in the loss of 4,000 jobs and causing the territory’s unemployment rate to top 10 per cent by 2040.

While the report noted that two metal mines will open in the next five years — Canadian Zinc’s Prairie Creek mine in 2020 and Fortune Mineral’s NICO mine in 2022 — it said this won’t make up for the large hole left by the diamond mines.

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