While our obligations to communities and people are spelled out in contractual agreements and regulations, Dominion Diamond strives to meet both the letter and the spirit of those commitments.
We maintain regular dialogue with communities around our mining operations, recognizing that our presence can bring both opportunities and concerns for residents. It is important to share information on mine operations, new projects, business and employment opportunities, and wildlife and environmental initiatives. And it is essential to listen, discuss, and incorporate feedback into our plans and activities.
At the Ekati mine, we are guided by the Ekati Mine Engagement Plan, which outlines well-established activities that build on practices developed during the early days of the mine. We hold regular community and Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) meetings, workshops, and site visits, and we involve Elders and IBA youth in Traditional Knowledge and environmental monitoring projects. Environmental reports are submitted to the Wek’èezhìi Land and Water Board (WLWB), all of which are posted to the WLWB’s public registry where any party can provide comment or questions.
The main topic of discussion in recent meetings related to the Jay Project. We shared our plans and project status, conducted site visits, collaborated on studies, and answered questions. A prime example was the Tłı̨chǫ What’aa Project, in which Tłı̨chǫ Elders studied varying properties of natural eskers close to Mesa Lake to identify community-based concepts that may be useful in the planning, construction, and reclamation of mine waste rock piles.
As part of our commitment to keeping communities informed, both the Ekati mine and the Diavik mine publish annual reports related to their socio-economic performance. The reports are posted to our website and can be downloaded here:
The Ekati mine has commitments under a Socio-Economic Agreement (SEA) with the Government of the Northwest Territories that has been in place since 1996, prior to our acquisition of the mine. These commitments relate to employment, community development, and business opportunities for northerners and northern Aboriginal residents. Our 2015 highlights are presented below. The Ekati Diamond Mine 2015 Socio-Economic Agreement Report provides performance details.
- Dominion Diamond employed 710 northern residents*, of whom 59% were northern Aboriginal, exceeding our SEA target of 50%.
- We strive to maintain positive working relationships with northern and northern Aboriginal contractors to build capacity for northern local businesses, and to have a positive impact on the northern economy.
- Aboriginal-owned businesses and joint ventures have secured numerous contracts at the Ekati mine, including contracts for mining services, explosives and blasting supply, catering, transportation services, janitorial services, as well as freight, cargo, and mail transportation services.
- In 2015, Dominion Diamond spent over $258 million in the North, with close to 40% ($97.4 million) going directly to Aboriginal businesses.
- The majority of the Ekati mine’s 2015 northern expenditure went into three categories:
- Earth moving equipment (through Finning, Atlas Copco, Sandvik, All West Glass, and SMS Equipment)
- Freight, cargo, and mail transport (through Northcan, KBX, First Air, and Great Slave Helicopters)
- Mine drilling and blasting services (through Kete Whii Procon Mining & Tunneling, Major Drilling, Foraco, and McCaw Drilling)
* Figure represents person years. One person year equals 2,080 hours per year, except for construction, which equals 2,736 hours per year.
Ekati Mine 2015 Expenditure by Priority Group
|Priority Group||Expenditure||Percentage of total Expenditure|
|Northern Aboriginal||$97.4 million||22%|
|Northern Non-Aboriginal||$161 million||36%|