Minerals of the NWT Including Vanadium, Cobalt, Diamonds, Rare Earths, Lithium

What We Heard: NWT Action Plan on Critical Minerals

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Blog Entries

April 7, 2022


ITI Minister Caroline Wawzonek released a report last week summarizing the November 2021 Workshop on the NWTs future in Critical Mineral Development.
The Government of Canada has developed a list of 31 minerals considered critical for sustainable and economic growth. The ITI-sponsored workshop in November 2021 underscored that more than half of these 31 minerals can be found in the NWT.
The report goes a long way to identifying how the NWT may be able to place itself at the forefront of an ecologically, culturally and economically-advantageous resource development program.
In Brief:
75 people representing each of the following sectors were invited to participate in the workshop:
  • Federal, territorial, provincial and Indigenous governments
  • Indigenous development corporations
  • Industry
  • Industry associations
  • Academics
  • NWT regulatory bodies
  • and MLAs
The workshop identified several ways in which the NWT’s strong mining heritage has placed it ahead of the curve when it comes to planning, cultural inclusion, training and legislation.
It noted that investment in transportation and energy infrastructure will need to be accelerated. But, while this new infrastructure is necessary for various mining activities, it will ultimately benefit all residents of the NWT by facilitating greater trade, mobility and communication, while lowering the cost of living.
Not only will the NWT be in a position to produce these metals crucial to a low-carbon, technologically-advanced economy, the jobs created from infrastructure development, exploration, extraction, processing and transportation will have an enormous impact on the economy and health of the territory as a whole.
Renewed exploration activity is needed to restore levels of investment, partnership, employment and growth in the NWT’s economy.  The Mandate of the Government of the Northwest Territories includes a commitment to Increase resource exploration and development. 
In her opening address to the 2021 NWT and NU Geoscience Forum in Yellowknife, Minister Wawzonek described the potential of critical minerals in the NWT as a new chapter for the NWT mining industry.
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NRCan also worked with the Government of the United States to develop the Canada –U.S. Joint Action Plan on Critical Minerals Collaboration, released in January 2020.