There is a long tradition of exploration and mining in Canada’s North. As world demand for minerals grows, so does industry`s need to explore increasingly remote and challenging regions. Canada’s North is by many definitions remote, the climate can be harsh and the infrastructure to support resource development is limited. The challenges are substantial. Some are project specific (geological, geographic or environmental) while others are broadly cultural (requiring developers to understand and work with the socio-economic priorities of Northern peoples and their governments). In many cases there are technical questions related to infrastructure requirements, regulatory complexity and technological readiness, which must be answered to inform direction setting or operational decision making.
Under-explored, given its vast size and geological variety, the North holds some of the greatest potential for non-renewable resource development in Canada, if not the world. However, continued healthy commodity markets and much work by all stakeholders is required to overcome the region`s many and varied challenges and realize that potential.
LOOKNorth has a mandate to facilitate the broader adoption of remote sensing technologies for sustainable resource development in the North. A broad range of technologies exist – some well established in the resource sector and some still to be proven. LOOKNorth is a catalyst to help the mining industry and the remote sensing sector understand where and how these technologies can be applied.
LOOKNorth has developed an overview of Northern Canada’s mining industry, intended to provide a context for assessing the utility of remote sensing technologies for that sector. Among LOOKNorth stakeholders, it is particularly intended for members of the remote sensing (RS) or Earth observation (EO) technology sector who may be considering or currently pursing commercial activities in this industry. The first section provides an overview of the mining industry in Canada. This is followed by an outline of the typical life cycle of a mining project, which delineates the evolving information requirements as projects move from infancy through maturity and, finally, closure. The last section provides a territory-by-territory overview of mining activity.
Content was compiled through secondary and primary research: industry and government presentations, reports and other publications, as well as interviews with active mining industry experts in order to validate or clarify specific items of publicly available information. Since mining is an extremely dynamic industry, the information contained herein may become dated. LOOKNorth intends to update this document as necessary.
Download a copy of Mining in the Canadian North.