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Feds give $500K to project to promote northern mining at annual conference

VANCOUVER — The federal government is spending $500,000 to lure investors to develop untapped mineral resources in Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell announced the initiative in Vancouver on Sunday on behalf of Melanie Joly, minister of economic development and official languages.

The Yukon Mining Alliance will use the funding to showcase the opportunities in the North at the annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference for the next three years.

Bagnell says the conference is the largest of its kind with over 1,000 exhibitors and 25,000 attendees from around the world, and this year’s event will take place in Toronto in March.

He says the mining alliance will establish a key presence at the conference including a media centre, an all-day forum with information on the North and a networking event.

It’s part of the Invest Canada North initiative which aims to promote the territories as attractive investment destinations and create jobs for Indigenous and northern residents.

“Mining investors from New York or London may not know about the strong Indigenous corporations we have in the North and all the assets they have to bring to projects. They may not know about the strong mining organizations we have,” Bagnell says.

“They may not know about how open and welcoming the territorial premiers are … and their governments are to mining. They may not know about the millions of acres of undeveloped mining potential they could invest in.”

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver says his territory is a top-tier mining destination with rich geological potential.

“Yukon has an awful lot to offer investors,” he says. “We are a geopolitically safe jurisdiction and our governments take pride in our work to forge strong, mutually respective partnerships with Yukon First Nations for the benefit of all Yukoners.”

Caroline Cochrane, Northwest Territories premier, adds the north is filled with minerals that “fuel the global green economy” such as lithium and cobalt, which are used in rechargeable batteries.

“A lot of people say we should be closing down the mining sector but we can’t. In fact, we need the mining sector.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 19, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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