OPINION: The case for greater federal investments in northern mining infrastructure – by Brendan Marshall (Nunatsiaq News – October 23, 2020)


Brendan Marshall is the vice-president for economic and northern affairs for the Mining Association of Canada.

The old expression “If it isn’t grown, it’s mined,” is taking on new meaning as the supply of minerals and metals critical to 21st century products takes on geopolitical importance.

As demand for mined materials continues to grow, there is increasing focus on what are referred to as “critical minerals”—vital in aerospace, defence, telecommunications, computing, and an array of clean and medical technologies such as solar panels, electric car batteries, ventilators and rapid testing kits.

Canada can play a larger role in this market, particularly given our leadership in sustainable mining practices and high environmental standards, and this opportunity is particularly relevant to mining in the North.

While the mining industry is truly pan-Canadian, with operations from coast to coast to coast, it is especially significant to northern Canada. Mining is the largest private sector driver in Canada’s Arctic, employing approximately 8,500 people, accounting for roughly one in every six jobs. These numbers expand when the northern regions of Manitoba, Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador are incorporated.

Direct gross domestic product contributions in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are 27 per cent and 28 per cent, respectively, as of 2019, and six per cent in the Yukon as of 2018. Research indicates that mining companies have invested, or have committed to invest, more than $9 billion in recent years. While these contributions are substantial, the potential is even greater.

For the rest of this article: https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/the-case-for-greater-federal-investments-in-northern-mining-infrastructure/