Canada’s resources: Why you should also pay attention to Nunavut

Last Updated: 24. Januar 2024By

Last week, a historic event took place in Canada. The focus is on the Arctic territory of Nunavut.

First, some facts for you: Nunavut was separated from the Northwest Territories in 1999, making it the youngest province in Canada. According to a census from 2016, approximately 40,000 people live in the territory, spread across 1.8 million square kilometers. The population density is only 0.02 inhabitants per square kilometer. 80 percent of the people living there belong to the indigenous Inuit group.

Nunavut offers important resources One of the reasons Nunavut is interesting is because of its rich resources. The area is said to have significant reserves of gold, diamonds, iron, cobalt, silver, zinc, uranium, rare earth metals, oil, and gas.

So far, the resource sector in Nunavut has been relatively underdeveloped compared to other Canadian territories. There is little infrastructure in place, and only a few internationally known companies are currently operating there. One of them is the mining giant Agnico Eagle Mines, which is working on various gold projects in the region.

Ottawa gives Nunavut control over its resources But now, a significant resource boom could be on the horizon for Nunavut. This is due to a decision made by the Canadian government. Last Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed a decentralization agreement with Nunavut’s premier, P.J. Akeeagok, in the territory’s capital of Iqaluit.

This agreement grants Nunavut the right to manage its own resources. Ottawa has already negotiated similar agreements with the other two northern territories in recent years. In Nunavut’s case, the transfer of authority is expected to be completed in about three years.

Observers expect that the Inuit people living in Nunavut and their political representatives will work towards improving education, creating jobs, and supporting investments. Aside from tourism, the rich resources in the region are expected to play a major role. It is anticipated that the government in Iqaluit will generally welcome the exploration and development of mining sites. After all, the license fees for certain areas and mines will now go directly to the Inuit instead of the federal government in Ottawa.

My conclusion for you: It is clear that local communities will continue to express concerns about the environmental impacts of mining projects. Recently, there has been criticism of Agnico Eagle’s expansion plans for a gold mine site in Nunavut. However, the Inuit government in Iqaluit is likely to have a strong economic interest in reviving the resource sector and could serve as a better mediator to the communities than the distant federal government in Ottawa. On the other hand, mining companies may have to make greater concessions to secure the goodwill of the Inuit.

The opportunity for international mining companies to focus on Nunavut after the decision regarding decentralization is, in my opinion, not to be underestimated. The territory’s resource potential, particularly for important technologies such as electric cars, is simply too crucial and lucrative to ignore. Lastly, it is worth noting that the global warming is making the Arctic territory increasingly accessible for shipping and mining.

Keep an eye on Nunavut as an investor. There could be some positive surprises for the sector in the coming years.