Nunavut 2020 Exploration and Mining Overview – Navigating a New Normal



Matthew Senkow –



M. Senkow – Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada, Iqaluit, NU, Canada



2020 has been a challenging year for exploration and mining proponents in Nunavut. A modest decrease in exploration spending was forecast, but restrictions placed on travel in response to the global pandemic led to the delay or cancellation of many proponents’ programs. Nunavut’s four operating mines have continued production, although at times with reduced capacity, and with additional measures in place to protect both their workforces and Nunavummiut.

Several operators were able to move forward with exploration programs, after consultation with Nunavut public health officials and the implementation of added precautions to prevent virus transmission into the territory. 

Recognizing the pandemic’s impact on mineral tenure holders, CIRNAC has advanced a variety of relief measures for industry to mitigate financial impacts and allow operators to retain their mineral tenure. The department is also working on further initiatives of benefit to industry, including: Nunavut Map Selection; an updated version of the Mineral Exploration and Mining on Crown Lands in Nunavut guidebook; and a data-mining project to identify areas of mineral prospectivity that are not held under active mineral tenure to highlight them for potential investment.

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