Mining Incentive Program COVID Update - May 12, 2020
May 12, 2020
2020-21 Mining Incentive Program - COVID Update
In response to the negative impacts of COVID-19 on NWT mineral exploration, several changes have been implemented to the Mining Incentive Program (MIP) for 2020-21. These changes provide additional support to Northwest Territories (NWT) mineral exploration and ensure that work is being conducted safely and in accordance with current public health measures.
MIP applicants should consult the MIP guidelines for information on eligibility and application requirements. The changes listed below take precedence over the MIP guidelines:
Application Deadline: The MIP application deadline has been extended by an additional week (to June 5, 2020) to provide applicants with additional time to plan for program changes and meet the requirements described below.
Applications Already Submitted: These must also comply with the changes and requirements described below.
Corporate Funding Ratio and Maximum Funding: The maximum funding for corporate projects will increase to 60% of eligible expenses, to a maximum of $240,000. In other words, a project with $400,000 of eligible expenses can potentially receive up to $240,000 in MIP funding this year.
Self-Isolation Expenses: Any NWT expenses incurred to comply with mandatory self-isolation periods will be considered eligible expenses for MIP funding.
Logistics and Expediting Expenses: Any NWT expenses related to expediting or program logistics will be considered eligible expenses for MIP funding.
Remote Community Access: Access to remote NWT communities is strongly discouraged. If a project requires access to a remote community, a summary of the risk assessment and communications/engagement plan must be outlined in the application.
NWT Spending: MIP applications that propose only modest amounts of NWT spending will not be considered for funding in 2020-21. Non-NWT applicants should demonstrate maximum usage of available NWT businesses and contractors to complete their projects. This will greatly simplify COVID-related project planning and assist in NWT economic recovery by directly supporting NWT businesses and workers.
Additional MIP Funding: The Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment is exploring ways to potentially increase MIP funding for 2020-21. This may result in a second call for applications to support winter exploration work. Currently, there is no assurance that additional funding will be available or a second call for applications will be made.
Requirements related to COVID-19:
- The Chief Public Health Officer (CPHO) of the NWT has issued public health orders that affect the mineral exploration industry. Two orders of relevance to mineral explorers were issued on April 10 and April 27, 2020 (see also GNWT Department of Health and Social Services COVID-19 Information).
- All applicants must include the 2020-21 MIP Application COVID-19 Checklist with their proposal.
- All applicants must provide a preliminary risk assessment as outlined on page 2 and 3 of the COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Worksite Precautions provided by the Workers’ Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC). The risk assessment must identify the project’s COVID-19 hazards and the hazard controls that will be implemented.
- Successful MIP applicants must demonstrate that they have received all necessary project approvals, including:
- Any required self-isolation plans approved by Protect NWT (email@example.com).
- A workplan approved by the Office of the Chief Public Health Officer (OCPHO) that outlines how the project will meet the public health orders and guidelines related to COVID-19.
- Any self-isolation exemptions requested from the OCPHO.
- All approvals must be obtained before a project begins, and for non-NWT workers, prior to travel to the NWT.
- Successful MIP applicants that fail to demonstrate OCPHO approval will become ineligible for MIP funding.
- In the event of changes to CPHO orders and guidance, affected projects are required to update their plans and demonstrate compliance with the most current orders and guidance.
Online NWT COVID-19 Resources:
Please consult these online resources when planning your project:
- GNWT COVID-19 Information and Resources
- GNWT Department of Health and Social Services COVID-19 Information
- GNWT Information on Essential workers entering the NWT (a particularly relevant web page for non-NWT resident MIP applicants)
- Workers Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC)
Note that these websites are being updated regularly and contain contact information for health authorities and the WSCC. The MIP Administrator cannot authoritatively advise on COVID-related project planning but is available to provide advice on all other aspects of the program.