Mining Incentive Program


Frequently asked questions about the Northwest Territories Mining Incentive Program

What is the Mining Incentive Program (MIP)?
The MIP provides funding to prospectors and exploration companies to conduct mineral exploration in the NWT. The MIP was modeled after successful incentive programs offered by other Canadian jurisdictions and is intended to reduce the risk associated with grassroots mineral exploration.

Do I qualify for funding?
Applicants must meet the following qualifications:

  • Companies must have the legal right to conduct mineral exploration in the NWT
  • Individuals must possess a valid NWT prospecting license
  • All applicants require a registered Canadian bank account for the transfer of funds.

How do I apply to the program?
Program information and application forms are available at the Northwest Territories Geological Survey, as well as online.

Completed applications forms and program proposals should be emailed to or sent to:

Mining Incentive Program
c/o Northwest Territories Geological Survey
PO box 1320
Yellowknife, NT
X1A 2L9

When is the application deadline?
MIP applications must be received by the NTGS before the deadline in April of each year. The date of this year’s deadline is posted on the Northwest Territories Geological Survey website.

Can I submit my application after this deadline?
Late and incomplete applications are not considered for MIP funding, be sure your application is in before the application deadline!

Are there other important dates or deadlines?
Yes, the deadlines for the MIP are approximately:

  • Application: Mid-April (change slightly each year)
  • Interim Reporting: October 1st
  • Project Completion: March 31st
  • Final Reporting: April 1st
  • Annual Spending Update: April 1st, each year until the program is completed

Applications received after the application deadline will not be considered. See this year’s application deadline.

All applicants must submit a completed interim report form prior to the Oct 1st interim reporting deadline.

Project work must be completed by March 31st .

A final report is due on April 1st. This deadline allows for assessment of an applicant’s past performance prior to considering new MIP funding requests. Early reporting is appreciated and may result in accelerated final payment.

Annual spending updates are due on April 1st of each year until the program is completed.

Late reporting may result in grant forfeiture and may affect future eligibility for MIP funding.

Do I need to read the Prospector Guide / Corporate Guide in order to apply?
All applicants should review the appropriate program guide before submitting their application. There are many requirements for MIP funding and applications that don’t meet them are not considered.

Do I need to enter the complete budget for my project on the application form? No. Only the eligible expenses that you wish to propose for MIP funding should be entered on the application form budget. Your program’s overall budget should be included in your detailed proposal.

On what basis is funding awarded?
All program applications are evaluate by the expert staff of the Northwest Territories Geological Survey and other divisions of the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment. Applications that maximize the use of NWT goods and services will be ranked higher than comparable applications that do not. For full evaluation criteria, please consult the program guides.

How is the ‘Use of NWT Goods and Services’ evaluation criteria scored? ‘Use of NWT Goods and Services’ is scored based on the percent of an applicant’s eligible expenses (excluding wages and report preparation) incurred in the NWT. To qualify an expense must be incurred at a business with an NWT presence. Special analyses or services necessary to certain types of exploration, and not available in the NWT, will not be counted against a project’s NWT spending. E.g., caustic fusion analysis for diamond exploration.

What is ‘past performance’ and why does it matter?
Applicants are evaluated in part based on their past performance, including quality of reporting and quality of work. First time applicants are given the average performance score of those being considered. For more details, please consult the program guides.

I applied but didn’t get funded. Why not?
The Mining Incentive Program has been consistently oversubscribed with an average funding request of over 2.5 times the available funding. With such demand, many good proposals are not funded, and even top-ranked proposals may only be offered partial funding.

Are there other funding programs that support Northwest Territories mineral exploration?
Yes, the Prospector’s Grubstake Program, part of the Support for Entrepreneurs and Economic Development (SEED) – Micro Business Program, provides individual prospectors with funding to help defray the costs of prospecting activities. For more information, please visit: