Investment in mineral exploration in territories largely declining – by Blair McBride (Yellowknifer – November 14, 2020)

The NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines is concerned over the ongoing decreases in mineral exploration expenditures in the North, which is expected to decline by about half from 2019 to 2020 and reach the lowest level in 20 years in the NWT.

Statistics from Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) show that in the NWT, expenditures are expected to drop by 54 per cent, from $79.8 million in 2019 to $36.6 million in 2020. The figures for 2020 cover the period until September. The expenditures are the costs of searching for and appraising mineral deposits.

The 2020 level is the lowest for the NWT in the last 20 years, according to a summary graph based on NRCan that the Chamber published on Thursday. The last time exploration expenditures dropped to a comparable level was in 2009, when they came to $44 million. They peaked at $194 million in 2007.

The NWT’s exploration spending has also lagged behind Yukon and Nunavut almost every year since 2009.

Nunavut’s exploration expenditures are projected to fall from $116.4 million in 2019 to $68 million in 2020, a reduction of 42 per cent, the third lowest level for Nunavut since 2000.

For the rest of this article: