Northwest Territories to develop homegrown mining regulations

YELLOWKNIFE (March 10, 2016)—The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) today announced major modernization initiatives for the mining and exploration sector.

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) will begin the process of developing and proposing a new, leading edge Mineral Resources Act to address the NWT’s unique regulatory needs while becoming more responsive to evolving industrial environments.

ITI is pursuing this process as part of the NWT’s Mineral Development Strategy (MDS), which recommended the GNWT create homegrown legislation to increase competitiveness in the mining sector.

A long-term project, the process will include consultation with Aboriginal governments and community organizations, as well as industry stakeholders to ensure the final product is acceptable to all involved.

The process will lead to the sunset of the current NWT Mining Regulations — originally enacted upon Devolution as part of requirements for federal land and resources legislation administered by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to be mirrored by the GNWT.

Next steps will include a jurisdictional review relating to mineral rights administration to inform development of the Mineral Resources Act.


“Mineral exploration and development are foundational to the economy of the NWT. With Devolution, our goal was always to ‘Devolve and evolve.’ Our move towards developing a leading-edge, homegrown Mineral Resources Act is demonstrative of our continued dedication to a stronger, more competitive economy for the NWT.”

  • Bob McLeod, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

Quick Facts

  • The NWT is one of only two jurisdictions in Canada without a standalone Mineral Resources Act; the other being Nunavut
  • This has rendered the NWT outside the legislative norm and at a competitive disadvantage with other jurisdictions
  • The NWT is the only jurisdiction in Canada with an Intergovernmental Council working with Aboriginal governments as equals in land and resource matters
  • Diamond mining directly contributed $574.6 million in territorial Gross Domestic Product in 2014

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Media Inquiries for the Department

Teresa Sanderson
Senior Communications Officer
Industry, Tourism and Investment
1-867-767-9202 (ext: 63038)