Mining Week 2022 - Jobs and Training

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It's Mining Week in the NWT!  “The Good of Mining” is a series highlighting the important relationship that NWT residents have with the NWT’s mining sector.

You have no-doubt heard that mining is the NWT’s number one private industry contributor to the economy.

But, what does that mean for the people who live in the NWT? The first, and perhaps most obvious, answer is jobs.


Our mines employ a lot of people. 

And while there are workers who fly in and out of our territory, many jobs are filled by NWT residents. These mining jobs pay well — and give hundreds of NWT families access to well-paid middle-class incomes.

To ensure, residents are benefitting from mineral development in their territory, the GNWT requires the proponents of all major projects to sign Socio Economic Agreements. They include employment targets for companies mining in the NWT. 

In 2021, it meant 929 direct Northern jobs provided by the NWT’s operating mines; and another 572 specifically filled by Indigenous residents.

  • In total, 32,137: Person-years of local employment have been provided by the operating diamond mines since 1996 — the year the first Socio-Economic Agreement was signed with Ekati Diamond Mine

ITI Releases 2021 SEA Report

Indirect Jobs

While it is difficult to know exactly how many indirect jobs exist specifically because of mining, we know that from transportation to construction, to grocery stores, hotels - and even government, numerous jobs are filled by NWT residents working to service the local presence, need and consumption of our mining sector. 

Consider, how many of your friends or family are employed by the mines, and what they buy from restaurants, grocery stores, gift shops and so on. All the folks employed to provide those goods and services are also indirectly benefiting from mining in the NWT.


The NWT resource development industry is continuously in search of new employees and the NWT’s mining industry has also spurred a great deal of training opportunities for NWT residents.

Examples include the prospectinggeoscience field assistant, heavy equipment operator and surface mining courses sponsored in-part by the GNWT, and offered through the NWT Mine Training Society.(link is external)

NWT mines work together with the GNWT’s Department of Education, Culture, and Employment and organizations like the Mine Training Society, Skills Canada, and Aurora College to support a strong northern workforce and offer skill development opportunities.

All three producing mines have commitments to employ apprentices from the GNWT apprenticeship programs to gain on-the-job experience. NWT mines employed 14 apprentices in 2020-2021.

The Mine Training Society (MTS) partners with multiple organizations including the GNWT and NWT mines to support individuals interested in obtaining employment at a mine.

It offers mentoring, scholarships, criminal record suspension help, job coaching services, and workshops to help residents build skills and connect participants with the mines after their training.

In many cases these opportunities are helping workers develop skills relevant far beyond the mine site.