Fuelled by mining development, Nunavut is heading into the most prosperous period in its history, according to the territorial government’s senior economist Francois Picotte. Over the next four years, the territory will see Baffinland’s Mary River mine and the new Hope Bay mine — TMAC Resources’ project in the Kitikmeot region — ramp up production, as well as the opening of two new sites by mining company Agnico Eagle.
The 20th annual Nunavut Mining Symposium is being held in Iqaluit this week, and after three relatively flat years, players in the industry are celebrating a production boost this year. During his presentation, Picotte told attendees that Agnico Eagle’s Meliadine mine will be the “game changer.”
Meliadine will be the territory’s fourth mine and is slated to be operational in late 2019 — the same time as Agnico Eagle’s other new site, the satellite deposit from their Meadowbank mine.
“By 2020 we expect to reach an amount of production that will probably hit $1.5 billion. That’s twice as much as was produced in 2016,” Picotte said. The new projects also mean new investment in the sector.Agnico Eagle recently announced $1.6 billion to develop its sites, which, spread out over the next three years, will bring total investment in the industry to around $1 billion a year.
“The only time the billion dollar mark was reached in the mining sector was in 2008, so we’re talking pretty much 10 years ago, and we’re going to replicate that… three years in a row.”
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