Natural resources of the Arctic
Natural resources of the Arctic are the mineral and animal resources within the Arctic region (sometimes defined as north of the Arctic Circle) that provide or have potential to provide utility or economic benefit to humans. The Arctic contains significant amounts of minerals, boreal forest, marine life and fresh water.
Large Arctic mines include Red Dog mine (zinc) in Alaska, Diavik Diamond Mine in Northwest Territories, Canada, and Sveagruva in Svalbard. Large mines under development are Baffinland Iron Mine in Nunavut, and Isua Iron Mine in Greenland.
The range of some sub-Arctic fish stocks is likely to extend into Arctic areas due to climate change, and decreasing ice-cover will likely lead to more fishing activity. Scientific understanding of Arctic fish populations is limited and needs to be studied before increased Arctic fishing occurs.
In the area of the Arctic north of the Atlantic, extensive commercial fisheries and international managerial mechanisms already exist. North of the Bering Strait, there are currently no significant commercial fisheries and no international management mechanisms.
The often mountainous areas and the low population density means that the villages in the Arctic often are self suppliant on electricity through hydro power. Some places still use oil for electricity generation and heating.