The Northwest Territories is expected to see a sharp decline in mineral production, according to a recent annual report from Natural Resources Canada.

Ken Armstrong, NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines president, stated in a news release on Thursday that the NWT expects to see $1.8 billion in mineral production from 2019. This represents a 13 per cent decline or a drop of $262 million in diamond production over the previous year.

This is in contrast to Nunavut, which is expected to see an increase by 27 per cent, or $279 million in 2019. This is largely driven by Agnico Eagle’s new gold mining operations in the Kivalliq region and slight increase in iron ore from Baffinland’s Mary River Mine.

“For Nunavut, the biggest contributing commodity is gold, with ramp up of the Meliadine mine during the year, combined with a steady to strengthening gold price,” Armstrong stated in the news release. “On the NWT side, however, diamond production declined by several million carats and diamond prices are down as well.”

The news release notes that the three producing diamond mines in NWT – Ekati, Diavik and Gahcho Kué; the Nunavut gold mines – Meadowbank-Amaruq, Hope Bay, and Meliadine; and one Nunavut iron ore mine, Mary River, all contribute to a total value of mineral production that is believed to be about $3.1 billion.

The figure remains the same as in 2018, according to the news release.

The mineral sector in both territories remains a fraction of the $48 billion value of mineral production across Canada. The national production value is down $1 billion from the year previous – representing about two percent of of annual production.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa. Simon can be reached at...

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