IQALUIT, Nunavut - Ottawa and Nunavut are about to open negotiations on granting province-like powers to the eastern Arctic territory over its natural resources.

Nunavut Premier Eva Aariak says she hopes talks will begin as soon as possible after her government announced its negotiator this morning.

The government of Nunavut now collects no royalties from resources on its land, all of which currently flow to the federal government.

Mining companies are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to assess Nunavut's vast mineral potential.

Both Yukon and the Northwest Territories have signed deals with Ottawa, although the N.W.T. is still in the ratification process.