CEO Message

I am pleased to present Dominion Diamond’s 2015 Corporate Social Responsibility Report. We are committed to communicating clearly and openly with our many stakeholders. This report brings together, in one place, key information about our socio-economic and environmental performance. We hope that, in reading it, you will gain a new appreciation of how committed we are to making a lasting, positive contribution in the regions where we do business.

Social and environmental development are closely tied to Dominion Diamond’s business strategy and long-term success. We firmly believe that promoting the health and well-being of our people, protecting the environment, and engaging with and investing in local communities are not just the right things to do, but also critical for our business. They help us build trust and credibility, pursue new opportunities, manage business risk, and maintain our social licence to operate. While our obligations are spelled out in regulations and contractual agreements, upholding the spirit of these commitments matters as much to us as meeting their terms.

Dominion Diamond has established itself as a capable miner, with strong operating and financial results. We are
also making great strides in social and environmental areas. Here are a few examples:

  • The Ekati mine had over 1,090 employees in 2015, with approximately 730 contractors providing support services. Of the company’s employees, 65% were northerners, of whom 59% were northern Aboriginal. We employed more northerners and northern Aboriginal people than any other company in the Northwest Territories.
  • At the Ekati mine, we have taken community engagement to a new level. We are especially proud of the extensive engagement around the Jay Project. The input received resulted in significant changes and improvements to the project plans.
  • Both the Ekati and Diavik mines won the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainable Mining Environmental Excellence Award in May 2015 for our Joint Regional Grizzly Bear DNA Program. It was especially gratifying to be recognized for our efforts at a national level.
  • As part of our commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility, Dominion Diamond India is paving the way for a number of local CSR initiatives, becoming involved in several socially relevant projects with a focus on clean water, sanitation and empowering women.

We were very pleased to have improved our safety performance in 2015. A big reason for the improvement was our continued emphasis on the Zero Incident Process (ZIP) program. More than 90% of our workforce participated in ZIP training, which equips them with the tools they need to make positive safety decisions at work and at home.

As we look to the future, our efforts are focused on advancing the Jay Project, which will provide a future for the Ekati mine. The Jay pipe is the most significant undeveloped diamond deposit at the mine. The project would add approximately 10 years to the current mine life, keeping the Ekati mine open until at least 2033.

The Jay Project was subject to a two-year environmental assessment process, aimed at demonstrating that the project can be developed in an economically and environmentally responsible way. In February 2016, the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board (MVEIRB) completed its Report of Environmental Assessment and recommended that the project be approved, subject to the measures described in the Report. The project was subsequently approved by our Board of Directors in July 2016 (see details at right).

At the Diavik mine, the A-21 pipe is in development, with the first kimberlite production anticipated by the end of 2018. This will supplement the mine’s underground production in the later years of the mine life.

Our strategy is to secure the immediate future of the operating mines and then advance additional opportunities for a long-term, sustainable diamond business.

All in all, 2015 was a busy and productive year. Our people rose to the challenges before them and they are the reason for our bright future. As we evolve our social and environmental development reporting, we intend to provide more information and align with international sustainability reporting standards. I would love to hear what you think of this report at ceo@ddcorp.ca.

Sincerely,
Brendan Bell
Chief Executive Officer

* The figure represents person years. One person year equals 2,080 hours per year, except for construction, which equals 2,736 hours per year.