Reports - Mineral Potential Indian Reserve Lands - Northwest Territories

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Table of contents

1.0  Description

The purpose of this regional summary is to provide regional managers and staff with an analysis of the data contained in the mineral inventory to assist in the preparation and planning for the response of Indian Bands resulting from the distribution of the report.

2.0 The Inventory

The inventory is a report that comprises forty-five volumes including approximately 18,000 pages and 10,000 maps. It is entitled "Mineral Potential Indian Reserve Lands" and has been completed at the Stage I (Literature Search) level for each Indian reserve in Canada. The Stage I inventory is defined as a review and record of all available material on the geology, geophysics, geochemistry, economic geology, and past or existing mineral operations of a reserve and its surrounding area. The minerals under discussion are grouped under five main headings: metallic, non-metallic (industrial), aggregate (sand and gravel), groundwater and peat.

2.1  The Northwest Territories Report

The Mineral Potential of Indian Reserves Lands for the Northwest Territories Region comprises 1 volume and approximately 24 pages with 10 maps and was completed in March, 1989.

2.2  The Land Base in the Northwest Territories Report

The Mineral Potential of Indian Reserve Lands, Northwest Territories incorporates two Indian reserves. The total land base of these 2 reserves is approximately 562.1 hectares.

The area of Indian reserves in the Region is substantially lower than the national average of 1176 hectares (2907 acres) per reserve. Frequently, the limited area of a reserve is a significant factor in the evaluation of its overall mineral potential.

3.0  The Regional Mineral Inventory Analysis

For every reserve contained in the inventory, a computer data record sheet was prepared which captured up to 51 descriptive items of information directly from the text of the inventory itself. This systematic process enables detailed, highly accurate and varied calculations and statistical analyses to be carried out on the minerals and related activities on reserves and create summaries on a Band, Regional or national basis.

The following represents a summary of the pertinent information necessary and useful for evaluating the current Indian mineral resource environment of the Northwest Territories Region:

3.1  Overall Ratings

The overall rating measures the economic mineral possibilities of each reserve as a whole, on low-moderate-good scale (1 - 3). Factors which affect this rating are: size of the reserve; location with respect to markets, transportation, access, value and type of commodity; social and cultural barriers to mining on certain lands and areas; marketability of a commodity at any given time, etc.

A moderate rating implies that some indications of mineral potential are present. More work on such reserves is necessary to gather technical information to determine whether a specific reserve can be rated at a higher or lower level.

The reserves have been rated for mineral resource potential as follows:

Overall Rating No. of reserves
Low 1
Moderate 1
Good 0

3.2  Commodity Ratings with Potential

The inventory catalogues only two mineral occurrences on reserves in the Region from all five commodity or mineral types (metallic, non-metallic, aggregate, peat and water) and comprises nearly 120 different minerals and commodities.

Commodity rating is an evaluation, on a clearly defined scale from one to five, of the potential of a mineral or commodity for development in terms of its geology, type, location, marketability, etc, based on the available information. This estimate is based on data collected from many sources and considers the geological surroundings of the reserves. For this reason, a known mineral occurrence on a reserve may have no value and be given a low rating, and conversely a commodity may be rated very high based on an indication of a deposit off-reserve which may extend onto reserve lands.

Neither of these reserves possess commodities rated at three or greater at the present time. One aggregate occurrence rated at 2 and one for gypsum rated at 1 is the total commodity evaluation for these two reserves.

3.3  Reserves at the Exploration Phase

This phase groups the myriad activities which are necessary in the detection, evaluation and measurement of deposits of minerals.

The mineral inventory report is the equivalent of Exploration Phase Stage I (literature search), which has been completed. The inventory records no reserves in the Region which have undergone any form of subsequent exploration activity beyond Stage I.

3.4  Reserves at the development phase

This phase is the step in the progression between exploration and production for a specific mineral or group of minerals where the land and the mineral deposit is prepared for the actual mining operations. This activity may range from tree cutting, fencing, and stripping of topsoil to detailed drilling programs, shaft and adit sinking, open pit excavations, etc.

No reserves are known to have experienced any form of development work related to their mineral resources. Some sites on-reserve unknown to the Resource Development Directorate may have been worked and proven to have little or no mineral potential as a result of information derived from such work, or work was discontinued due to outside influences such as company failures or dropping markets.

3.5  Reserves at the Production Phase

Production phase as used here is the actual extraction of material or mineral by any mining process, past or present, which is stockpiled, used on or sold off-reserve.

In the Northwest Territories Region, there are no recorded cases of mineral production occurring on an Indian reserve.

4.0  Mineral Surrenders

An examination of the records indicates that neither of the reserves considered here have surrendered their minerals.

5.0  Mineral Permits and Leases

Indian Lands Registry of Lands, Revenues and Trusts have not recorded any occurrences of mineral related permits, leases and/or agreements for Northwest Territories Indian reserves.

The Registry records contain 459 entries for permits, leases and/or agreements across Canada. Averaged on a national basis, 72% of mineral agreements are undertaken by the private sector, next comes provincial government at 14%, municipalities at 6%, bands at 3%, and federal organizations participated in only 1% of agreements. Three percent of the total number of registry entries were undetermined.

6.0  Relationship with Principle Mines

Of the reserves in the Northwest Territories Region, none is situated within 10 or even fifty kilometres of any of the ten principle industrial mineral and metallic mineral mines in the province. Both reserves however, are within 100 to 150 kilometres of mines and might be candidates for commuting by air for employment purposes.

Based on a national average of 479 workers per mine, these account for a total of nearly 2400 jobs. Statistics suggest at least 70 of these jobs should be held by Natives.

October 1991

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