Just over two decades in the making, Canada's newest diamond mine is set to officially open Tuesday in the N.W.T. at a ceremony involving Indigenous leaders, mining and territorial officials.
The Gahcho Kué mine, located on the tundra about 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, is estimated to be one of the 10 biggest diamond mines in the world.
"Mining and mineral-related activities are, and for some time will be, the largest provider of jobs, and the main driver of the territorial economy. We need the benefits from this non-renewable resource production to enable our investment into other sectors of the economy," said Premier Bob McLeod in his Opportunities North keynote address. Opportunities North is the North's annual business conference.
Imperial Oil is looking at selling its Norman Wells oil assets in the Northwest Territories.
The Calgary-based company says while a definitive decision has not been made, it recognizes the significance of such a move and is therefore speaking with Sahtu community leaders about its plans.
According to its website, Imperial Oil first discovered oil at Norman Wells, about 150 kilometres south of Arctic Circle, in 1920.
De Beers Canada is extolling the benefits of its Gahcho Kue diamond mine ahead of the mine's official opening later this month, billing it as "the biggest and richest new diamond mine in the world."
"It's a big deal," said chief executive Kim Truter.
"It's a big deal for the N.W.T., for Canada, for De Beers and for Anglo American."
Anglo American owns 85 per cent of De Beers, according to its website.
Twenty communities across the N.W.T. will receive funding to improve water and sewer facilities, Amarjeet Sohi, the federal minister of infrastructure and communities, announced in Edmonton Tuesday.
The funding is part of a $69 million agreement between the federal and territorial governments.
Ottawa will pay for about 75 per cent of the work — or $52 million — with community governments providing the remaining $17 million.
A milestone at the Gahcho Kué diamond mine has been reached as the plant that processes ore into rough diamonds has completed commissioning, mine officials announced last week. De Beers, majority owner of the mine about 280 km northeast of Yellowknife, and minority owner Mountain Province last week announced the plant that crushes and washes ore has completed commissioning – a system of checks to ensure it works as planned.
A mineral exploration company with roots in Yellowknife is buying up prospective northern gold deposits with the hope a recent run up of the price of precious metals continues into a longer term trend.
Mike Power, president and CEO of Silver Ranger Resources, said the company has shifted focus from developing silver properties in Yukon to generating gold projects in Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
The winds of change are blowing for Inuvik's energy sector. GNWT representatives told town council July 11 that the territorial government is exploring the feasibility of adding a wind turbine to the community's energy infrastructure.
"The technology for coldweather wind turbines is much better than it was 10 years ago" said Wade Carpenter, alternative energy specialist with the Department of Public Works and Services, adding the project is still in the exploratory stage.
“We all have to do our part to fight climate change and our mines are already doing their part, as evidenced by their clever use of diesel and wind energy,” Chamber President Gary Vivian says
The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) received confirmation of its Aa1 credit rating with a stable outlook from Moody’s Investor Services. With this latest confirmation, the GNWT has maintained this rating for a decade. The Aa1 rating is the second-highest rating available from Moody’s, who evaluated the credit strengths and challenges of the territory.