Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

November 08, 2011 13:29 ET

CORRECTION FROM SOURCE: Governments of Canada and NWT Partner to Advance Geoscience Research


This document corrects and replaces the press release that was sent today at 12:15 pm ET

Today the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister of Health, together with the Honourable David Ramsay, Northwest Territories Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI), announced that the resource industry can count on up-to-date geoscience data in the Northwest Territories (NWT) to support resource exploration and development projects.

"The Government of Canada recognizes that reliable information about mineral and energy deposits is essential to attract resource development and support the dynamic economic growth we are seeing across the North," said Minister Aglukkaq. "The data gathered from these projects will provide more certainty for industry and investors, create job and business opportunities for Northerners, and support land use planning."

"Reliable geoscience data is vital to encourage exploration in areas with high resource potential, which in turn contributes to the sustainability of the NWT mining industry," said Minister Ramsay. "Not only will the outcomes of these research and data projects help attract investment to our territory, they will also create spin-off exploration projects that will provide employment and business opportunities for NWT residents."

This three-year research initiative will build the geoscience knowledge base through geochemical and geophysical surveys, bedrock mapping, and petroleum and mineral deposit studies of under-explored regions with high resource potential. New and existing data will be analyzed to identify promising new research and exploration areas. Areas of interest include the Cordilleran, Mackenzie Plain, Wopmay-Great Bear, Slave, and Churchill regions of the territory.

The work will be spearheaded by the Northwest Territories Geoscience Office (NTGO), a collaborative partnership between ITI and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC).

The federal funding was made possible through Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency's (CanNor) Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development (SINED) program which focuses on long-term economic growth, economic diversification, and capacity building in all three territories.

SINED is one of several economic development programs within CanNor. CanNor is responsible for coordinating and delivering Canada's economic development across the North, and for related policy development, research and advocacy.

For copies of CanNor news releases, visit:

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit and for more information on Canada's Northern Strategy, visit



CanNor Funding: $3,275,000

GNWT Funding: $1,100,000

Private Sector Funding: $900,000

Total Project Value: $5,275,000

The Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) will invest $3.275 million over three years (2011 to 2014) to support continuing geoscience research and data analysis in the Northwest Territories. The Government of the Northwest Territories' Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI) and the private sector will invest a further $2 million, for a total project value of $5.275 million.

The projects will provide valuable new geoscience knowledge in underexplored areas that have high resource potential or proven resources. Geoscience data provides essential information to support mineral and petroleum resource exploration and development decisions, fostering significant investment in the territory. Funded activities will include:

  • Targeted bedrock mapping – Three geological mapping projects will be carried out in the Mackenzie Mountains, including the Howard's Pass area, where the world- class Selwyn lead-zinc deposit is located. Other projects will investigate the enigmatic Hottah terrane south of Great Bear Lake, the Blachford Intrusive Suite and Elk pegmatite field in the southern Slave Province, and the Mackenzie Mountains and Plain in the Norman Wells-Tulita region.

  • Petroleum and Mineral Deposit Studies – A detailed analysis of petroleum systems in the central Mackenzie Valley will complement regional mapping and stratigraphic studies. Known copper showings in the Mackenzie Mountains, gold showings in the Yellowknife region, and base metal prospects in several areas of the Slave Province will also be studied in detail.

  • Regional Geochemical Surveys – Helicopter-assisted surveys in the Mackenzie Mountains, Colville Lake, and Churchill regions will gather regional geological information and provide baseline environmental data.

  • Geophysical data collection and interpretation – Airborne geophysical surveys in under-explored areas with mineral or petroleum potential, and analysis of the data gathered from both new and previous surveys will identify exploration and research targets.

  • Technical Support – Employment of a Geographic Information Systems Technician will support the funded activities.

The initiative will be managed by the Northwest Territories Geoscience Office (NTGO), a joint federal and territorial office funded and staffed by the Geology Division of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) in partnership with ITI. Staff from both groups will carry out, contribute to, or oversee the projects described above. Contributions from external research partners, mainly universities across Canada, provide an important additional element that helps ensure research success and significantly leverages NWT-based expertise.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
    Cailin Rodgers
    Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development
    Agency and Minister of Health

    Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
    Petra White
    Communications Advisor, NWT Region

    Government of the Northwest Territories
    Alayna Ward
    Manager, Public Affairs and Communications
    Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment

    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
    Toni Riley
    Senior Communications Advisor