Companies in the Northwest Territories received 72 per cent of Gahcho Kué Mine’s spending in 2018 and De Beers Canada says it’s looking to grow that number.

Nearly 50 NWT businesses and organizations attended a contract opportunities event on June 29 in Yellowknife. The event included an update on Gahcho Kué Mine operations, the future of Snap Lake Mine, and an opportunity for business representatives to meet members of De Beers’ supply chain team.

“De Beers remains focused on creating a positive legacy during the time that it operates the Gahcho Kué Mine and an early priority is to help grow NWT business capacity through new business development,” says Allan Rodel, Gahcho Kué Mine General Manager.

“These annual business updates are key to all parties in understanding what opportunities exist, what the community capacity is to take on these opportunities and how we can work together to see this work take place here in the north by northern companies,” says Rodel.

Gahcho Kué spend with NWT businesses through the end of May 2018 was worth $108 million. In 2017, the company says it spent $220 million, or 71% of its total spending at Gahcho Kué with NWT companies. This amount exceeds the 60% commitment made in the Socio-Economic Agreement Gahcho Kué signed with the Government of the Northwest Territories in the summer of 2013.

“Working with local business is one of the real early success stories around Gahcho Kué,” says Kelly Brenton, Superintendent of Indigenous Relations and Sustainability for the company.

“By maximizing our local spend, we’re able to generate increased economic activity throughout the Northwest Territories, resulting in more income and jobs, especially with our Indigenous community partners,” Brenton says.

A number of contract opportunities are available for the remainder of 2018 and 2019, ranging from providing labour to operate the wash bay at Gahcho Kué, electrical and instrumentation parts, supply of Personal Protective Equipment and winter road construction and operations contracts.