North of 60 Mining News - The mining newspaper for Alaska and Canada's North

More money for mapping Canada's Arctic


Last updated 8/31/2008 at Noon

The Canadian government Aug. 26 said it will invest $100 million over the next five years in its new Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals program. The funding is an extension of the $34 million Canada committed to the geo-mapping program earlier this year.

"As I've said before, 'use it or lose it' is the first principle of sovereignty in the Arctic," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in announcing the additional funding. "To develop the North we must know the North. To protect the North, we must control the North. And to accomplish all our goals for the North, we must be in the North."

The geo-mapping program will combine field research and advanced scientific analysis to provide Canadians with a fuller assessment of the extent of mineral and energy resources in the Canadian North. This information will help generate additional investment and economic development in Canada's Northern communities.

"We know from over a century of northern resource exploration that there is gas in the

Beaufort (Sea), oil in the Eastern Arctic, and gold in the Yukon. There are diamonds in

Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, and countless other precious resources buried under the ice, sea and tundra," Harper said. "But what we've found so far is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Managed properly, Canada's share of this incredible endowment will fuel the prosperity of our country for generations. And geo-mapping will pave the way for the resource development of the future."

Past experience in other jurisdictions has demonstrated that geo-mapping programs can result in a five-to-one return in leveraging private sector investment. As a result, Canadian officials say they expect upwards of $500 million to be spent by the private sector in resource exploration and development.


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