The names of the appointed members of the new NWT Mining Advisory Board (MAB)were announced publicly last Friday after completing their inaugural meeting in Yellowknife on June 3.
The territorial advisory board on mineral exploration and development is composed of:
- Mr. Brendan Bell of Dominion Diamonds Corporation of Yellowknife, NWT (chair);
- Mr. Darrel Beaulieu of DEMCo Limited Partnership of Yellowknife, NWT;
- Mr. Rod Brown of Discovery Mining Services of Yellowknife, NWT;
- Ms. Leni Keough of Olivut Resources of Hinton, Alberta;
- Mr. Don Bubar of Avalon Rare Metals of Toronto, Ontario;
- Mr. John Kearney of Canadian Zinc of Toronto, Ontario.
Industry, Tourism and Investment Minister Dave Ramsay said topics discussed at the first meeting centered on reinvigorating the NWT’s mineral industry, which is at a critical point due to a downturn in commodity prices.
Those topics included assembling an “effective and efficient” regulatory system, the need for infrastructure that fosters development, creating more awareness about the importance of mineral development to the NWT economy, and promoting the NWT’s mineral potential to possible investors.
“We need to ensure employment and business opportunities for our communities are realized from our resource-based economy while continuing to achieve high environmental and social standards. The MAB will help us to do that,” Ramsay said.
So far, the board has advised that the minister focus on a few key strategic priorities, including drafting a leading edge Mineral Resources Act, noting that the NWT is the only province or territory where such legislation is absent.
As well, the board recommended the minister focus on creating and implementing a public awareness campaign to build public support for mineral exploration.
Ramsay announced plans to establish the board earlier this year as an outcome of the NWT Mineral Development Strategy.
The volunteer board is to provide “non-binding, independent strategic advice” to government on the mining sector in the NWT.