Did You Know?
- Canada’s Northwest Territories (1,171,918 square kilometers) is as big as Alberta and Saskatchewan combined, but has just 42,940 inhabitants.
- There are 33 communities in the NWT. Yellowknife (pop.18,695) is the capital. Over half the population of the Northwest Territories is of Aboriginal origin.
Business and Economic Development
- The Northwest Territories GDP has increased 57% since 1999.
- In 2009, the GDP was $3.279 million – $76,000 per capita. The NWT GDP per capita is two times the Canadian average of $35,000 and is significantly higher than $46,000 per capita of Alberta.
- Diamond related activity accounts for 25% of the NWT’s GDP.
- NWT families have the highest median incomes in Canada. The median family taxable income is $94,220 (2007) – 42% above the national average.
- The NWT’s rate of employment is 63.5% (March 2010).
- Average household spending on heating, electricity, water and fuel was $4700 in 2005. That’s 93% higher than the Canadian average.
- Over $20 million dollars a year is spent on subsidizing power costs.
- In 2006/07 hydro power made up for 70% of residential power use and 39% of the NWT’s total power consumption.
- The promise of hydro power in the NWT is estimated to be over 12,000 mega watts.
- Preliminary studies show that the Northwest Territories has the potential to generate hydro power on the scale of James Bay or Churchill Falls using modern run-of-river technology that will limit environmental impacts.
- Expansion of the Talsten River Hydro facility has the potential to replace 114 million litres of diesel and 320 kilotonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually.
- The City of Yellowknife is looking into the potential for tapping into geothermal energy from the now abandoned shafts of the Con Mine.
Minerals, Oil and Gas
- The oldest rock in the world is located just north of Yellowknife and is over 3.962 billion years old.
- B.A. Blakeney, a prospector on his way to the Klondike, staked the first claim in the Yellowknife area in 1898.
- Roughly 1900 wells have been drilled North of 60.
- A record $1.2 billion dollars was committed to oil and gas exploration in the NWT in 2008 for offshore Beaufort Sea area.
- The combination of mining and oil and gas in the Northwest Territories contributed nearly $2 billion to the NWT economy in 2007.
- The Norman Wells oil field has been in production since 1943. The facility at Norman Wells is Imperial Oil’s (Esso) largest single conventional oil field. It produces between 5 and 6 million barrels per year, values between $330 and $400 million dollars per year.
- Crude oil shipments were valued at $375 million and natural gas at $29 million in 2009.
- The Mackenzie Gas Project will cost a total of $16.2 billion.
- For NWT residents, the construction of this pipeline represents over 30 thousand years of total employment and $5 billion in earnings.
- It is projected that the Mackenzie Gas Project will contribute $86.3 billion to the Canadian economy – including $9.9 billion to Alberta’s economy and $5.1 billion to Ontario’s economy. It will create a total of 208,822 person-years of employment for Canadians.
- There are an estimated 6 trillion cubic feet of discovered gas reserves and an additional 55 trillion cubic feet of likely gas reserves within the Mackenzie Delta / Beaufort Sea region.
- Unlocking known gas fields in the Mackenzie Delta could produce about 800 million cubic feet of gas per day.
- When gas flows down the proposed Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline, gas production will
increase to over $2 billion annually.
- To date, there have been 522,278 kg of gold produced in the NWT.
- To date, there have been 2,265,419 tonnes of lead produced in the NWT.
- To date, there have been 6,663,882 tonnes of zinc produced in the NWT.
- To date, there have been 1,952,500 kg of silver produced in the NWT.
- The diamond is the official gem of the Northwest Territories.
- The discovery of diamonds in 1991, at Lac De Gras resulted in the largest staking rush in Canadian history.
- BHP’s Ekati mine in the NWT was Canada’s first diamond mine. Construction began in 1997 and it opened officially on October 14, 1998.
- Since 1998, about 78,947,507 carats worth of gem quality diamonds have been mined in the NWT – with an estimated value of $11.368 billion/CAD.
- De Beers’ Snap Lake Mine is Canada’s first fully underground diamond operation – and the first mine ever built by the world’s diamond giant outside of Africa.
- The collective operations of the Ekati, Diavik and Snap Lake diamond mines are producing 15% of the world’s rough diamonds. Diamond production for 2007 reached 16.6 million carats worth $1.4 billion.
- Canada is the third largest diamond producer by value in the world after Botswana and Russia.
- Since 1996, the NWT’s diamond mines have provided over 16,000 person years of employment – over 4,400 to Aboriginal residents and have surpassed $5 billion in investment with northern and Aboriginal businesses.
Tourism and Parks
- Tourism generates more revenue, over $111 million annually, than all other renewable resources combined.
- In 2010 over 69,830 thousand people visited the NWT.
- In the summer, the Northwest Territories is truly the “Land of the Midnight Sun”. North of the Arctic Circle, the sun comes up in May and doesn’t set until the third week in July.
- The Mackenzie River is the longest river system in Canada and is 2,635 miles (4,241 km) in length.
- The Mackenzie River Delta is the largest delta in Canada and the second largest Delta in North America after the Mississippi River Delta. It is 130 miles (210 km) long, 38 miles wide (62 km) and covers an area 5,0192 miles (13,000 square km).
- Wood Buffalo National Park is the Canada’s largest national park and one of the largest in the world.
- Nahanni National Park was established in 1978 and was the first UNESCO World Heritage Site in Canada.
- Virginia Falls in the Nahanni National Park is almost twice the height of Niagara Falls at 300 feet (92 metres) and is the highest and most dramatic cataract in all of Western Canada.
- The Auroral Oval is a gigantic ribbon of energy 124 miles (200 km) in diameter and 124 to 186 miles (200 to 300 km) high. It encircles the magnetic north pole and creates a corona of light known as the Aurora Borealis.
- Yellowknife, the DIAMOND CAPITAL OF NORTH AMERICA™, sits directly under the Auroral Oval and is the best possible place to view the lights between September and April.
Furs, Agriculture, Fishing
- About 40% of NWT residents over the age of 15 spend time participating in the traditional harvesting of trapping, fishing or hunting.
- Approximately, 700 people still make their living trapping - contributing an estimated $1.4 million to the economy (2005/06).
- The Northwest Territories commercial fishing sector is largely concentrated on Great Slave Lake. While many freshwater species are found in the lake, export-grade whitefish is the most dominant.
- Wild fur from the NWT is considered among the very best in the world. Marten fur from the NWST is internationally recognized as second only to Russian Sable.
- NWT Fish, fur, egg and timber exports were valued at $13 million in 2005.
- The Northwest Territories agricultural sector generates approximately $6-7 million in income per annum in the Northwest Territories. Crops brought to market include, market garden fruits, berries and vegetables, gathered wild berries and herbs and forage.
- In Inuvik, the reindeer herd has grown to some 2000 head and is a valuable food-producing asset for the area.
- Commercial wildlife production is the largest export-based producer n the NWT’s agri-foods industry.
- Muskoxen from Banks Island are harvested for their meat and fur. The meat is marketed to high-end restaurants and the fur, or Qiviut, is extremely valued by the textile industry.