Opinion: Diamonds may be forever but diamond mines aren’t. N.W.T. needs to find a replacement fast – by Darrell Beaulieu, Paul Gruner and Heather Exner-Pirot (Financial Post – December 6, 2023)


Premier and cabinet need to make clear N.W.T. is open for other kinds of mining and will ease investors’ way

Although it wasn’t much noticed in the rest of Canada, the Northwest Territories had an election last month. Worn down by a series of crises, people voted for change: about half of the MLAs-elect are new. They picked a hard time to get into government.

Compared to what’s coming next, COVID-19 and record-breaking wildfires might not look so bad. The territory’s diamond mining industry, which represents over a quarter of its GDP, is coming to its natural end. And as things stand there is no plan to replace it.

Southerners see the N.W.T. as a vast, cold territory with untapped resources. Many seem to assume that as the energy transition increases demand for critical minerals the territory can simply ramp up production as needed. But the mining business is more complicated than that, and nowhere are the economics and logistics of resource development more challenging than in Northern Canada.

Inadequate infrastructure, a small labour force, a complex regulatory framework and high costs can discourage potential investors. Canada’s recent reputation as a difficult place for resource development doesn’t help.

For the rest of this article: https://financialpost.com/opinion/diamonds-arent-forever-nwt-needs-replacement-fast