The number of NWT residents employed at joint venture Gahcho Kué Mine rose by 12% in 2018 compared to 2017 according to the Gahcho Kué Mine Socio-Economic Report for 2018 that was released by De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds.

The mine, located about 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, provided 527 person-years of employment during the year, and just over 50% of them, 265 people, live in the NWT which a 29 person increase of over 2017. The mine’s NWT resident workforce drew employees from 14 communities throughout the territory representing every region in the NWT.

Kim Truter, De Beers Group CEO, Canada notes how encouraging it is to see Gahcho Kué improving each year and establishing a solid foundation for a long-term positive impact in the NWT.

“Our commitment to contributing to local communities is expressed through jobs, spending with northern businesses and corporate social investment.”

Other highlights from the report include:

  • 26% of all Gahcho Kué Mine employees are Indigenous residents of the NWT;
  • the number of women working at the mine increased to 20% of the total workforce, an 11% improvement over 2017;
  • 72% of the $291 million spent on goods and services during 2018 was with NWT and Indigenous companies, well above the 60% commitment made in the Socio-Economic Agreement with the GNWT;
  • $530,000 was spent in communities through corporate social investment programs;
  • mine employees took part in a total of 24,000 hours of training;
  • 13 NWT residents were hired into training positions at the mine, six in the process plant, five in mining and two in apprenticeship positions; and,
  • a number of initiatives were launched during the year aimed to support employee wellness, including a weight management program and a visit by a sleep expert to help employees manage shift work, among others.

Stuart Brown, President and CEO of Mountain Province Diamonds commented that the quality of assets, the relationships with local communities and regulatory bodies are key factors to the success of the company.

“Our corporate social responsibility is measured in terms of improving conditions for our employees, shareholders, communities, and environment. Our long-term success as a business is entirely dependent on our commitment to ensuring long term sustainability of the environment and communities in which we operate. We are very proud of our achievements in the Northwest Territories.”

To help people living in Indigenous communities in improving their chances of obtaining employment in the diamond mines, De Beers worked with the GNWT to develop a recruitment workshop. The goal was to help local residents understand how the application process works while also provided tips on interview skills, resume writing and other information. Events in late 2018 were held in Lutsel K’e, Behchoko, Whati, Gameti, Fort Resolution and Wekweeti, as well as a workshop in Ndilo for the Yellowknives Dene First Nation which was held this February.

De Beers also provides 10 pickup points to employees living in the NWT from which the company provides travel to and from Gahcho Kué Mine. Employees are also eligible to receive travel allowances to help them get to and from pickup points, hopefully eliminating any travel barriers to work at the mine.

The full Gahcho Kué Mine Socio-Economic Report for 2018 can be found here.