The N.W.T.'s newly-launched mining industry advisory board has some familiar faces on it.

Brendan Bell, a former minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment - and the acting CEO of Dominion Diamond Corporation - chaired the board's first meeting with current industry minister Dave Ramsay yesterday.

Brendan Bell

Brendan Bell, Dominion Diamond Corporation's acting CEO and former chair of the Northwest Territories Power Corporation, co-chaired the advisory board's first meeting with minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment David Ramsay. (Dominion Diamond Corporation)

Bell, a busy man, recently stepped down as chair of the Northwest Territories Power Corporation.

Ramsay announced his intention to staff the mining advisory board in January. The board's mandate is to give Ramsay advice on how to grow the territory's mining industry.

"We've probably lost millions of dollars to other jurisdictions just because the Northwest Territories wasn't seen as a favourable jurisdiction to mine and explore," said Ramsay.

The board's other members include executives with four junior exploration companies that are trying develop mining projects in the N.W.T. They are:

  • John Kearney, the president and CEO of Canadian Zinc Corporation, which is trying to finance the Prairie Creek base metals project northwest of Nahanni Butte
  • Don Bubar, the president and CEO of Avalon Rare Metals, which is trying to finance the Nechalacho rare earths project southeast of Yellowknife
  • Darrell Beaulieu, the CEO of Dene-owned Demco Limited Partnership, which is exploring for diamonds, silver and gold
  • Leni Keough, the president and CEO of Olivut Resources, which is exploring for diamonds west of Yellowknife.

Rounding out the six-member board is Rod Brown, manager of special projects for Yellowknife-based Discovery Mining Services.

Board members declined to comment on the first meeting, sending all questions directly to Ramsay.

Ramsay said the board hopes to meet at least twice a year, though he added that his department can keep members advised of legislative changes and regulations.

He said an annual report will outline the recommendations made to him by board members.