The NWT is a mining-friendly jurisdiction, with a strong and stable mining industry. Mining is the largest private sector employer in the territory, with a thriving service sector. The direct benefits of mining account for almost 40% of the NWT’s Gross Domestic Product. Indirect benefits are also significant, through spending on transportation, construction and real estate. Since 1998, the diamond mines alone have generated nearly $10 billion in NWT business contracts, over $4 billion of which were spent with Aboriginal-owned businesses and have created over 20,000 total person years of employment, nearly half of which were Aboriginal employees. (Sources: Northwest Territories Mineral Development Strategy and A Guide To Mineral Deposits - NWT 2016).
There are currently three producing mines in the NWT - all in diamonds. Historical mineral production from 1932 to 2014 was $46 billion in value, of which 38% was diamonds, 30% was zinc, and 18% was gold (Source: Outlook For Mineral and Petroleum Development in the NWT, Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment; Northern Economic Development Conference - October 29, 2014).