Gold Mines to Drive Growth Across Canada's Far North
Yukon’s economy is set to grow faster than that of almost any other territory or province in Canada thanks to two new mines that are set to go into production over the next several years.
According to the Conference Board of Canada’s latest Terrirotial Outlook, the nearby Northwest Territories (N.W.T), however, face challenging times as the diamond industry there matures and production of precious stones is forecast to fall over the next six years. Yet, it’s set to benefit from the growth mines in Nunavut and the Yukon will bring, mostly in other areas of the economy, with growth in services-based industries remaining flat for much of the forecast.
While the mining sector has been more cautious in this upswing cycle than in the past, there are still several mining projects that are advancing through the approval process and will bolster economic growth and employment opportunities in the northern territories over the next few years
- Marie-Christine Bernard, director, provincial and territorial forecast, The Conference Board of Canada.
Fueled by the construction and operation of new mines, economic growth in the territories as a whole is forecast to average 4.7% in 2019 and 4.5% in 2020 - easily outpacing the forecast Canadian average of below 2% growth.
Between now and 2020, Nunavut’s economy alone will grow by an average 7.3% and then slow down slightly to 4.6% annually. This is still higher than any other territory or province in Canada. Most of the growth will come from the expansion of Agnico Eagle’s Meliadine and Amaruq gold mines, as well as Sabina Gold & Silver’s Back River project. Gold production in Nunavut is expected to double in the next couple of years.
The board also mentions the proposed Casino mine, which would be Yukon’s biggest mine, costing billions to build and employing hundreds of people. That project is currently under review by the Yukon Environmental and Socio-economic Assessment Board (YESAB).