The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) has taken action to support its foundational mineral exploration sector by extending a popular, effective program, and expanding another.
The Mining Incentive Program (MIP), which facilitates direct GNWT investment in qualifying exploration and prospecting projects, will be expanded by $600,000. This increases funds available to explorers and prospectors to $1 million — more than doubling incentive levels. In its inaugural two years, the GNWT’s investment of $800,000 in the program generated $3.4 million in spending from projects that received MIP funding. The spending figure rises to $4.4 million when you factor in the number of projects that were previously funded and went on to spend additional money in years that they weren’t funded.
The Work Credit Program (WCP), 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. To date, the WCP has generated nearly $725,000 in benefit for NWT exploration projects.
Extending benefits under the WCP and expanding the MIP is consistent with the GNWT’s mandate to support exploration in the NWT to drive the future of mining — an industry responsible for roughly 10% of jobs in the NWT.