Northern Canadian mining exploration - the good, the bad and the ugly
April 13, 2013
Mining exploration expenditures are falling dramatically in the north. Nunavut’s planned expenditures in 2013 will double NWT and Yukon.
Up Here Business published Natural Resources Canada’s survey of spending intentions for 2013 and provided comments from geologists in the territories.
- Nunavut’s exploration expenditures are expected to top $312 M, down from $535 M in 2011. Nunavut moves forward with large projects (Baffinland, Izok, Meliadine).
- NWT’s exploration expenditures were forecast at $81 M, down from $93 M in 2011. One geologist suggested a figure of $15 M for 2013 as being more realistic. The advanced rare earths project called Nechalacho received a body blow when the Yellowknives Dene First Nation withdrew its support for the project.
- Yukon’s exploration expenditures are estimated at $111 M, down from $331 M just two years ago. The good news for Yukon is that Victoria Gold’s Eagle $430M project is starting construction this year.
Commodity markets are in turmoil and mining companies find it difficult to raise capital, resulting in declining exploration expenditures. Societal license to undertake mining projects continues to be a critical requirement for exploration to flourish. Societal license includes First Nations support, environmental impacts and broad public support for the mining proposal.
- a)Up Here Business, April 2013, p.7. citing Natural Resources Canada's survey of spending intentions.
- b)"Head and Shoulders above the rest" Up Here Business, April 2013, p.7.