Government of the Northwest Territories Extends Key Mineral Exploration Support Program

YELLOWKNIFE (MARCH 8, 2017) — The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) today took another concrete action to support its foundational mineral exploration sector by extending a popular, effective program.

The Work Credit Program, originally introduced in 2015 to offset costs for mineral explorers during a downturn in commodity prices, will be extended for two years beginning April 1, 2017 in response to continuing challenges. 

Under the NWT Mining Regulations, holders of recorded mineral claims in the NWT must complete work or submit cash in lieu to keep a claim active.  Reported exploration work is assessed and approved by the Government of the Northwest Territories’ Mining Recorder’s Office.

With this program, the credit or value of this exploration work will be multiplied by 1.5 in the recording system — effectively increasing the value of work done and reducing burden on explorers operating in the NWT.

This program originally arose from recommendations made by the Mining Industry Advisory Board (MIAB), who identified work credits as a practical area for relief. 

The extension is in-line with the GNWT’s commitment in its mandate to support both mining and the exploration laying a foundation for future mines.


“It is the duty of government to foster an environment where individuals and industries can succeed. As the commodities downturn continues to affect the fortunes of our mining industry, extending this incentive is a practical, necessary step to protect millions of economic benefit and thousands of jobs across many sectors it brings our economy each year.”
-Wally Schumann, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment.

Quick facts

  • The first implementation period runs April 1, 2015 – March 31, 2017. Implementation will continue seamlessly.
  • To date, the program has generated nearly $725,000 in benefit for exploration companies working in the NWT.
  • The MIAB is an advisory board consisting of NWT mineral industry stakeholders, including Aboriginal businesses, mining company representatives, and other experts in the sector.
  • Mining activities are responsible for roughly 1/10 NWT jobs.

Relevant links

For more information:
Drew Williams
Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment
Ph: (867) 767-9202 ext. 63038