Canadian Arctic to lead national growth

Mar 14, 2012
Reindeers crossing a lake in Quebec's tundra, in 2011. Canada's northern territories will lead the nation in growth in the next two years, buoyed by high commodities prices and a ramping up of new mines, a report said Wednesday.

Canada's northern territories will lead the nation in growth in the next two years, buoyed by high commodities prices and a ramping up of new mines, a report said Wednesday.

The Conference Board of Canada in its Territorial Outlook study forecast real gross domestic product in the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut to collectively grow by more than seven percent in both 2012 and 2013, outpacing the Canadian average of 2.1 percent this year.

It points to an Arctic exploration boom with spending topping $700 million last year, several large projects proposed for this decade, and expanded production of gold, silver, copper, diamonds, iron ore, and , along with new railways, power plants and ports.

"While the global economy is facing challenges that dampen the outlook for many Canadian industries and provinces, demand for metals and non-metals is expected to hold up," said Marie-Christine Bernard, the report's lead author.

A relatively stable Canadian economy, low financing rates and an elevated Canadian dollar should also help convince business leaders to keep boosting capital investments, the report said.

Mining companies, however, must contend with environmental concerns, such as a planned rail route crossing environmentally sensitive hunting grounds used by nearby communities, harsh Arctic conditions -- a kitchen fire forced the evacuation of 300 workers at Agnico-Eagle's Meadowbank gold mine last year -- and a skilled labor shortage.

The Northwest Territories' diamond production declined last year but is expected to rebound as demand outstrips supply.

The report notes that not all the mining projects have the green light for development, but have made sufficient progress to be included in the board's analysis.

Avalon Rare Metal's Nechalacho rare earth elements project near Thor Lake, for example, is now ranked as the largest rare earth deposit outside of China, but production will not start until 2015.

The outlook also assumes EU nations will not default on sovereign debt, the US economy will grow at a modest pace, and both Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region will only experience a slight dip in growth.

Explore further: NASA's HS3 mission spotlight: The HIRAD instrument

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Canada hunts for rare earth metals as China cuts back

Dec 21, 2011

A steep decline in Chinese exports of rare earth metals used in many hi-tech gadgets has forced a global search for new crucial supplies and hopes are high for major finds in Canada, analysts say.

Latin America mining boom clashes with conservation

Feb 12, 2012

Latin America is experiencing a mining boom as prices rise fuelled by a hike in global demand, but the region is also being hit by a wave of violent protests, strikes and rallies by environmentalists.

Rare-earth mining operation to revive in US

Dec 21, 2010

After signing deals with major Japanese trading houses that have been rushing to secure new sources of rare earths, mining company Molycorp Inc. plans to restart its rare-earth mining in California by the end of the year.

Recommended for you

NASA's HS3 mission spotlight: The HIRAD instrument

9 hours ago

The Hurricane Imaging Radiometer, known as HIRAD, will fly aboard one of two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft during NASA's Hurricane Severe Storm Sentinel or HS3 mission from Wallops beginning August 26 through ...

Fires in the Northern Territories July 2014

23 hours ago

Environment Canada has issued a high health risk warning for Yellowknife and surrounding area because of heavy smoke in the region due to forest fires. In the image taken by the Aqua satellite, the smoke ...

How much magma is hiding beneath our feet?

Jul 23, 2014

Molten rock (or magma) has a strong influence on our planet and its inhabitants, causing destructive volcanic eruptions and generating some of the giant mineral deposits. Our understanding of these phenomena ...

User comments : 0