Mineral Resources Act

Overview

2014 marked a new era for the Northwest Territories’ land and resource management regime.

Devolution shifted authority over these resources from the federal government to the territorial government — bringing control of the minerals resource industries home for the first time since NWT production began in the 1930’s.

Now, with Devolution a reality, we are preparing to develop a leading-edge, made-in-the-North Mineral Resources Act — and we want your input!

Mission

The Mineral Resources Act will be designed to meet the Northwest Territories’ unique needs, increase competitiveness in the mining sector, promote a sustainable and diversified economy, protect the

Overview

2014 marked a new era for the Northwest Territories’ land and resource management regime.

Devolution shifted authority over these resources from the federal government to the territorial government — bringing control of the minerals resource industries home for the first time since NWT production began in the 1930’s.

Now, with Devolution a reality, we are preparing to develop a leading-edge, made-in-the-North Mineral Resources Act — and we want your input!

Mission

The Mineral Resources Act will be designed to meet the Northwest Territories’ unique needs, increase competitiveness in the mining sector, promote a sustainable and diversified economy, protect the natural environment, and respect the rights and traditions of Indigenous peoples.

How will we get there?

This legislation will follow a six-step process.

  1. Initial Scoping: Research in collaboration with stakeholders and experts to set the stage for the project
  2. Public Engagement: Getting input from Indigenous governments and organizations, industry, other stakeholders, and the public. Continuing through December 1, 2017
  3. Development of Draft Act: Based on input from engagement. Proposed for completion Summer 2018
  4. Section 35 Consultation: Consultation on potential impact to Aboriginal or Treaty rights. Proposed for Fall 2018.
  5. Introduction to Passage: The Bill will be introduced and debated in the Legislative Assembly. Proposed for completion Fall 2019.
  6. Implementation: Once the Bill is passed, steps will be taken to implement the Act, including the development of supporting regulations, training materials and public awareness content

Opportunities and Limitations

What It Could Do

The Act would, at minimum, govern:

  • Benefits to residents (e.g., royalties)
  • Reporting on mineral types and locations
  • Rights to explore and mine
  • Rules for staking and maintaining mineral claims

The current Mining Regulations will be replaced by the proposed Act. This will be informed by input from Indigenous governments and organizations, stakeholders, and members of the public.

What It Can’t Do

The Act will not alter the following laws, regulations, and agreements already in place affecting mining and exploration in the NWT:

Indigenous Land Settlement Agreements

No land settlement agreements or ongoing land claim negotiations will be affected by the proposed Act.

Regional Land and Water Boards

The authorities of the regional land and water boards are established under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. The Act will be designed to complement their functions.


  • Mineral Resources Act Discussions: Responsibly Managing Industry

    over 1 year ago
    Img 9533

    As community visits for our first ever Northwest Territories-made Mineral Resources Act continue, we want to highlight four key themes for discussion we will be focusing on at these public engagement sessions.

    The minerals industry is a big deal for the Northwest Territories (NWT) economy. It employs more than 1000 residents and contributing hundreds of millions to our Gross Domestic Product.

    The Government of the Northwest Territories has a duty to have processes in place to manage this activity in a way that strikes a balance between encouraging economic opportunities and getting a fair deal from companies who benefit from...

    As community visits for our first ever Northwest Territories-made Mineral Resources Act continue, we want to highlight four key themes for discussion we will be focusing on at these public engagement sessions.

    The minerals industry is a big deal for the Northwest Territories (NWT) economy. It employs more than 1000 residents and contributing hundreds of millions to our Gross Domestic Product.

    The Government of the Northwest Territories has a duty to have processes in place to manage this activity in a way that strikes a balance between encouraging economic opportunities and getting a fair deal from companies who benefit from our natural resources.

    This is why responsibly managing industry emerged as an important theme for discussion as we create this new legislation.

    When looking at creating legislation for the minerals industry, the GNWT has two general goals in mind:

    · Ensuring effective processes are in place to ensure mineral exploration and development is being done responsibly.

    · Encouraging investment in responsible resource development to bring benefits to Northwest Territories residents.

    These public engagement sessions are all about hearing from YOU on the best ways to reach these kinds of goals.

    Under this general theme, there are a few key topics to consider.

    • Inspections and Monitoring: It is important for the government to keep track of activities at mining and exploration projects to make sure information is reported correctly. The GNWT can collect information about exploration activities, geological results, mining costs, and mineral value. What do you think the GNWT should require companies to share? Should the GNWT look at creating a new mine inspector position to enforce rules?
    • Rehabilitation and Closure: While mine closures and rehabilitation are covered by federal law which the GNWT can’t change, we have an opportunity to complement it with this new legislation. How should this new law address abandoned mines? Can you see issues with the way mine closures are currently handled? What about ways we could make sure mine sites are left as close to their natural states as possible?
    • Transparency, Public Accountability and Ministerial Authority: A well-run regulatory system should build trust with clear, accurate, timely information for the public, and certainty for industry. The Minister must also have enough authority to react to emergencies (i.e. environmental crisis). What information should be made public to improve openness? What powers should the Minister have?
    • Work Requirements: When mineral explorers and mining companies hold mineral rights within our lands, we want to ensure they are using the land productively. Are the current work requirements for mineral claims and mineral leases sufficient? (See FAQs if you are unclear about these terms) Should mineral rights be taken away if work isn’t being done?
    • Geoscience Reporting: Public geoscience information is integral to attracting investment and government decision-making on land and resource management. What kinds of geological information do you think the GNWT should require companies to share?

    Want more details on these topics? Visit Engage-ITI/MRA to find backgrounders and information on these topics, along with other useful information to help get the context you need to HAVE YOUR SAY on this landmark legislation.


  • Mineral Resources Act Discussions: Access to Land

    over 1 year ago
    Bf kg 2011 selma project ntgs imgp0236

    As community visits for our first ever Northwest Territories-made Mineral Resources Act approach, we want to highlight four key themes for discussion we will be focusing on at these public engagement sessions.

    Access to land is at the centre of the minerals industry. Without this access, there could be no prospecting, exploration, or mining.

    Generally, there are two overarching goals the Government of the Northwest Territories sees as important:

    1. Ensuring benefits from accessing land for mineral development generates benefits within the jurisdiction

    2. Encouraging individuals and businesses to explore public lands for minerals to generate these benefits

    Through these...

    As community visits for our first ever Northwest Territories-made Mineral Resources Act approach, we want to highlight four key themes for discussion we will be focusing on at these public engagement sessions.

    Access to land is at the centre of the minerals industry. Without this access, there could be no prospecting, exploration, or mining.

    Generally, there are two overarching goals the Government of the Northwest Territories sees as important:

    1. Ensuring benefits from accessing land for mineral development generates benefits within the jurisdiction

    2. Encouraging individuals and businesses to explore public lands for minerals to generate these benefits

    Through these public engagement sessions, we’re looking for input from YOU to find the best ways to reach these goals through the new Mineral Resources Act.

    Topics

    Under this general theme of accessing land, there are three topics our research suggests are important for discussion, along with some questions to consider for each of them.

    • Land access for prospecting and exploration: Prospecting and exploration are the foundation of all mineral development. How should we manage rights to access land for these projects? Should we encourage more exploration with incentives? Should areas with high mineral potential be treated differently than under-explored ones?
    • Mineral rights (tenure): It’s important to manage how rights for prospecting, exploring, and mining are provided, maintained, and transferred. It is also important to make sure those who extract our resources fulfill certain responsibilities. Is the way mineral leases and claims are transferred too complicated? Should mineral rights be taken away if work isn’t being done?
    • Online Map Staking: Modern technology has brought new opportunities within mining and exploration — ones not currently covered in our regulations. Should we allow prospectors to stake claims using online tools instead of only allowing claims to be made on-the-ground? Do you think this would encourage more exploration? What do we need to consider when tailoring this to the North?
    Interested in these topics? Sign-up to take part in the discussion forums and HAVE YOUR SAY!
  • ANNOUNCEMENT: Behchokǫ̀ Public Engagement Session to be Rescheduled

    over 1 year ago

    The Tłı̨chǫ Government has asked that we re-schedule the Behchokǫ̀ public engagement session for the new Mineral Resources Act scheduled for August 30 until after the current electoral process.

    We will be rescheduling our engagement and look forward to the opportunity to hear from the Tłı̨chǫ people on this important piece of legislation.

    Stay tuned for updates


    The Tłı̨chǫ Government has asked that we re-schedule the Behchokǫ̀ public engagement session for the new Mineral Resources Act scheduled for August 30 until after the current electoral process.

    We will be rescheduling our engagement and look forward to the opportunity to hear from the Tłı̨chǫ people on this important piece of legislation.

    Stay tuned for updates


  • News Release: Engagement on New Mineral Resources Act Begins

    over 1 year ago
    12776 360x360 eng

    YELLOWKNIFE (August 2, 2017) The Northwest Territories is one step closer to developing mineral legislation that reflects the unique circumstances of the mineral sector in the North, and is seeking input from northerners into the development of a Minerals Resources Act.

    The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) has begun public stakeholder engagements on the development of the Territory’s first homegrown mineral legislation, and has launched an interactive engagement tool to help solicit feedback.

    Recognizing the significant role that mining and exploration has played in shaping the NWT’s economy, a discussion paper on the Mineral Resources Act...

    YELLOWKNIFE (August 2, 2017) The Northwest Territories is one step closer to developing mineral legislation that reflects the unique circumstances of the mineral sector in the North, and is seeking input from northerners into the development of a Minerals Resources Act.

    The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) has begun public stakeholder engagements on the development of the Territory’s first homegrown mineral legislation, and has launched an interactive engagement tool to help solicit feedback.

    Recognizing the significant role that mining and exploration has played in shaping the NWT’s economy, a discussion paper on the Mineral Resources Act, aimed at sparking conversation and gaining input, has been released and is available online. The nine focus areas of the engagement document were identified through extensive preliminary research and will help guide stakeholder and public feedback.

    An interactive online engagement platform has been launched to collect valued public and stakeholder feedback, and in-person meetings and information sessions will also be held across the NWT beginning in late summer and fall 2017.

    Feedback collected will help inform the development of a Bill designed to make the NWT mining sector more competitive, while respecting the rights and traditions of Indigenous peoples and the need for sustainable land use.

    The GNWT encourages Indigenous governments and organizations, industry stakeholders, interest groups, and members of the public to have their say through ITI’s public engagement portal.

    The development of the Mineral Resources Act (MRA) is a commitment under the Mandate of the Government of the Northwest Territories 2016-2019 and is a concrete step towards achieving the priority of improving coordination and effectiveness in resource management systems while recognizing traditional knowledge, land claims agreements and devolution.

    Quote:

    “Mining and exploration directly or indirectly employs nearly one-in-10 NWT residents and generates nearly a billion in annual economic activity. It is our duty as a government to ensure this industry is governed with clear legislation designed to maximize the benefits of responsible resource development to ensure a strong future for this foundational industry. We have an opportunity to create a leading-edge Act to assure our competitiveness on the global stage for years to come.”

    - Wally Schumann, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment

    Quick facts:

    • NWT mining is currently governed by the NWT Mining Regulations. This is mirrored from federal legislation passed down during Devolution.
    • These regulations will be absorbed and altered as part of the proposed legislation
    • The proposed legislation will be designed to govern:

    o Mineral rights

    o Benefits to residents (i.e. royalties)

    o Reporting on mineral types and locations

    o Rules for staking claims and maintaining mineral leases

    • The MRA will not alter or replace any other federal or territorial laws and regulations already governing mining and exploration in the NWT. The MRA will not affect requirements and processes already set out under the Mackenzie Valley Resources Management Act.
    • Dates for in-person meetings and information sessions are still being finalized. To stay up-to-date on dates, visit ITI’s public engagement website and social media handles.

    Related Links

    Media Contact

    Mike Westwick

    Communications Officer

    Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment

    Government of the Northwest Territories

    Mike_Westwick@gov.nt.ca

    1-867-767-9202 ext.63039

  • The Mineral Resources Act: What Can It Do?

    over 1 year ago
    Mining pick axe

    What It Can Do

    The Mineral Resources Act would, at minimum, govern:

    • Mineral rights for exploration and mining
    • Benefits to residents (e.g., royalties)
    • Reporting on mineral types and locations
    • Rules for staking and maintaining mineral claims and mineral leases

    The current Mining Regulations will be replaced by the proposed Act. This will be informed by input from Indigenous governments and organizations, stakeholders, and members of the public

    What It Can’t Do

    The Minerals Resources Act will not be comprehensive legislation. It is one piece in the NWT’s comprehensive co-management land and resource management regulatory...

    What It Can Do

    The Mineral Resources Act would, at minimum, govern:

    • Mineral rights for exploration and mining
    • Benefits to residents (e.g., royalties)
    • Reporting on mineral types and locations
    • Rules for staking and maintaining mineral claims and mineral leases

    The current Mining Regulations will be replaced by the proposed Act. This will be informed by input from Indigenous governments and organizations, stakeholders, and members of the public

    What It Can’t Do

    The Minerals Resources Act will not be comprehensive legislation. It is one piece in the NWT’s comprehensive co-management land and resource management regulatory system .The Act will not alter the following laws, regulations, and agreements already in place governing mining and exploration activities in the NWT:

    Aboriginal Land Claim and Self-Government Agreements

    No agreements or ongoing land claim negotiations will be affected by the proposed Act.

    Regional Land and Water Boards

    The authorities of the regional land and water boards are established under the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act. The Minerals Resources Act will be designed to complement their functions.


  • Six Steps To a New Mineral Resources Act

    over 1 year ago
    Mining photo

    The Government of the Northwest Territories is currently in the process of proposing the NWT’s first-ever Mineral Resources Act.

    Today, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment — lead on the Act’s creation — launched the public engagement phase of the project; releasing a discussion paper on the Act and launching a new online interactive engagement portal to spark conversation using discussion forums, surveys, and other brainstorming tools.

    How did we get here? And what comes next?

    The legislative process follows a six-step model. Below is a description of the steps already completed, and those still to come. We...

    The Government of the Northwest Territories is currently in the process of proposing the NWT’s first-ever Mineral Resources Act.

    Today, the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment — lead on the Act’s creation — launched the public engagement phase of the project; releasing a discussion paper on the Act and launching a new online interactive engagement portal to spark conversation using discussion forums, surveys, and other brainstorming tools.

    How did we get here? And what comes next?

    The legislative process follows a six-step model. Below is a description of the steps already completed, and those still to come. We are currently on Step 2.

    1. Preliminary Scoping: The GNWT undertook discussions and completed research in collaboration with stakeholders and subject matter experts in natural resource governance. This helped set the stage for the rest of the project.

    2. Public Engagement: Based on preliminary scoping and research, taking into consideration the unique circumstances of the Northwest Territories, the GNWT produced a discussion paper. This paper was designed to spark conversation around key areas of focus for NWT mining and exploration.

    Currently,The GNWT is collecting feedback from Indigenous governments and organizations, industry, interest groups, and members of the public to find out what’s important to them. All input collected will feed into a What We Heard report to inform the rest of the process.

    3. Development of a Bill: The GNWT will use feedback to inform proposed legislation and the development of a Bill.

    4. Section 35 Consultation: Once a Bill is drafted, consultation with regard to potential impacts on established or asserted Aboriginal and/or Treaty rights will occur. This is in-line with the GNWT’s commitment to protecting Indigenous rights and traditions as decisions on land, water, and wildlife are made.

    5. Introduction to passage: A Bill reflecting Section 35 Consultations will be introduced for debate in the NWT Legislative Assembly. After 2nd Reading, the Bill will be referred to Standing Committee, providing an additional opportunity for public hearings and feedback, before moving to 3rd Reading and passage.

    6. Implementation: Once a Bill is passed it does not immediately become the law of the land. The GNWT will make the necessary preparations, working with stakeholders, in order to bring the Act into force. This will likely require the development of supporting regulations, training materials, and public awareness content.