Terry Dobbin is the Nunavut general manager for the NW.T. and Nunavut Chamber of Mines.
“We need healthy exploration today to find the mines that will carry on the jobs and benefits”
They say that history repeats itself, and that’s not a good thing if it’s negative. Some of us are afraid that’s where we are headed. Let me explain.
Mining in the Northwest Territories has been a tremendous success story, with four diamond mines over the past 20 years generating 58,000 person years of employment, $20 billion in spending, training of seven per cent of the total workforce, significantly reduced social assistance payments, significant IBA [impact and benefit agreement] payments, and billions paid in a pile of taxes and royalties to governments to help them look after their residents.
However, in 2007 the N.W.T. began to lose focus on keeping mineral exploration strong. Exploration is the very work that is needed to find new mines and their great benefits. Since 2007, the N.W.T. has missed out on at least $1.4 billion in lost investment.
Exploration has still not recovered and economists are now saying the N.W.T. is facing an economic crisis due to its aging mining industry. It isn’t looking good for N.W.T. residents, businesses, or public and Indigenous governments.
Turning to Nunavut, less than 10 years ago there was no mining industry—zero production, zero employment, zero business, zero taxes, zero IBA payments. Thankfully, the Meadowbank mine came on stream in 2010 and started creating significant benefits for Nunavummiut. Remember, this was after 25 years of significant investment by a number of companies.
For the rest of this column: https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/is-history-repeating-itself-a-tale-of-two-territories/