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CAPEX decline in the north

March 16, 2014

Stats Canada predicts a decline in capital expenditures in the public and private sectors in 2014.

In terms of the major public sector capital expenditures in each territory, the new road to Tuk from Inuvik in the NWT will be a $300M project over 4 years. In Nunavut, the Iqaluit airport project will be $300M; In Yukon the new FH Collins High School in Whitehorse will cost close to $50M.

In the private sector, the Mary River iron ore project in Nunavut is a large $750M project starting this year. In the NWT, there are two mines nearing construction and one in Yukon is awaiting financing.

Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan) survey of mineral exploration companies forecasts continued low investment in all three northern territories. NRCan’s latest semi-annual report Exploration and Deposit Appraisal Expenditures, by Territory provides companies’ intentions to spend the following in 2014:

  $71.5 million in the NWT, a decrease of $18.5 million (21%) from 2013;
  $166.5 million in Nunavut, a decrease of $103.7 million (38%) from 2013; and
  $97.7 million in Yukon, an increase of $7.8 million (9%).


CAPEX has declined in the north as commodity prices have declined over the past 2 years. Each territory relies on the stable base of government expenditure through generous federal transfers.