Royalties FAQ

Who collects resource royalties in the Northwest Territories (NWT)?

The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) collects, assesses and audits royalties for mineral and petroleum development on NWT public lands. The Department of Lands collects royalties on quarrying of aggregate materials on public lands.   

What percentage of resource revenues does the GNWT keep?

The GNWT keeps up to 50 percent of the total resource revenues annually, up to a cap equal to 5 percent of the GNWT’s Gross Expenditure Base in each fiscal year. The amount of this maximum benefit will grow as the territory grows.

Which other GNWT departments collect resource royalties?

Environment and Natural Resources collects all fees and lease payments related to the commercial or industrial use of water and bodies of water.

The Department of Lands collects payments and fees related to the issuance of rights on public land, such as a lease.

ITI also collects payments and fees related to the issuance of mineral rights, such as prospecting permits.

Finance collects related taxes.

How do Aboriginal governments in the NWT benefit from resource revenues?

The GNWT shares up to 25 percent of its portion of resource revenues with participating Aboriginal governments. This new revenue is in addition to any amounts they previously received under land claim and self-government agreements, and helps to build capacity and meet community needs.

How are Norman Wells Proven Area royalties handled?

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada will continue to collect the Norman Wells Royalty in accordance with the Devolution Agreement and will remit the agreed-upon portion to the GNWT.

What is the schedule for sharing with Aboriginal governments?

All revenues are distributed quarterly, and revenues earned in one year are received the following year.

How does the Government of Canada receive its share?

Canada deducts its share of resource revenues from the GNWT’s monthly federal transfer payments. These deductions will take place two years after the resource revenues are generated.

How does the GNWT invest their resource revenues?

The GNWT invests in strategic infrastructure to strengthen the NWT’s economy and reduce territorial debt. A portion of the revenues are invested into a Heritage Fund.

What is the Heritage Fund?

The Heritage Fund was created in 2012 as a way to save for future generations. The principal in the Fund cannot be taken out, but interest generated may be withdrawn beginning in the 2032-33 fiscal year. 

How did Devolution affect royalty rates?

There were no changes to the royalty rates established under the NWT Mining Regulations and NWT Petroleum Resources Act.

Who do I talk to about the administration of royalties?

The Financial Analysis and Royalty Administration division manages royalty calculation, collection and auditing.