Copyright © 2019 Senator Dennis Patterson.

Statement – StatsCan Real GDP Growth in Nunavut

November 16, 2011

Mr. Speaker:

Last week Statistics Canada reported that real domestic product increased in every province and territory in 2010….an impressive record and a testimonial to the outstanding economic stewardship of our government in 2010 and previous years.

What is particularly impressive about the Stats Canada report is that the largest proportional increase of any province or territory in Canada occurred in Nunavut where real GDP advanced 11 percent in 2010.  Only Newfoundland and Labrador came close to Nunavut with 6.1 percent growth.  Nationally, real GDP increased 3.2 percent in 2010.

This increase in Nunavut’s GDP, according to Statistics Canada, is mainly due to AgnicoEagle’s Meadowbank gold mine which poured its first brick in Q1 of 2010.

Meadowbank is a success story…for AgnicoEagle shareholders, for the Governments of Canada and Nunavut , but in particular for the people of Baker Lake and the Kivalliq Region of Nunavut.

When he visited the mine last August, Prime Minister Harper commented that:

“We make investments in health, we make investments in housing, but social development issues, as we all know from experiences in our own country and worldwide, are so much easier if we have economic development. That‘s why this is important,” he said.

The AgnicoEagle gold mine, with average annual production estimated to be 400,000 ounces per year and a life extending to 2019, promises to continue making a significant contribution to Nunavut’s GDP for many years to come.

Mr. Speaker, the Meadowbank mine, which currently employs 770 full time employees, of which 290 are Inuit, is but one example of how mining exploration and development are changing the economy and future of Nunavut.

The NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines has estimated that between 2011 and 2037 existing and proposed mines could generate 82,000 person years of employment and spend $32B.  Let me elaborate.

On Baffin Island, ArcelorMittal wants to build an iron mine at Mary River.  The price tag – $6B; production life – a minimum of 21 years; operations work force – between 750 – 1,000 people; revenues to the Nunavut Government – $100M/year and to Nunavut Tunngavik – $1.9B over the life of the project.

Another promising Baffin Region iron ore project is being developed by Advanced Explorations at Roche Bay.  While still in the exploration phase, Advanced Explorations estimates it will spend $1.1B to build the mine, creating 500 – 600 jobs. Also on Baffin Island, Peregrine Diamonds and BHP plan to continue kimberlite bulk sampling and plan to spend $18M next year.

To the west in the Kivalliq region north of Manitoba, AgnicoEagle wants to develop another gold mine at Meliadine near Rankin Inlet.  Exploration expenditures between 2011 and 2012 will amount to $129M.

In the Kitikmeot region, Newmont is close to production at its Hope Bay gold property.  2011 expenditures on the project were $300M.  Another promising project is MMGs base and precious metals deposit at Izok Lake.  Capital cost of a mine is estimated at $1.25B, creating another 760 jobs.

Mr. Speaker, this is only a sampling of Nunavut’s incredible mining potential which has been attracting industry and investors from around the world, including China, Australia, France, Japan, the United States and England.  It is also attracting top quality mining people who have experience developing mines in the north and working with Aboriginal people to ensure they benefit from employment, training, business and equity opportunities.

I will continue reporting good news from Nunavut based upon mining and how it will continue to fundamentally change Nunavut.

Thank you.