Diavik's investment in community consultation and capacity building is evident from the initial planning stages of the Diavik Diamond Mine.
The Diavik Diamond Mine sees itself as a guest in a land where Aboriginal people assert a centuries-old presence. In planning the mine, Diavik consulted extensively with local communities about its operation and effects. Diavik is committed to providing significant training, employment and business opportunities to residents in local communities of the Northwest Territories and the West Kitikmeot region of Nunavut, ensuring that it leaves a legacy of economically and socially stable local communities in the region.
Diavik's commitment to community development and investment is evident in the Diavik Socio-Economic Monitoring Agreement (SEMA), which was formalized in 1999 between Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. and the Government of Northwest Territories. The agreement was ratified by local Aboriginal communities and outlines Diavik's commitment to provide training, employment and business opportunities to northerners and, more specifically, indigenous northerners. Diavik individualized these commitments through Participation Agreements negotiated with each of the same five Aboriginal groups:
- Tlicho Government
- Yellowknives Dene First Nation
- North Slave Metis Alliance
- Kitikmeot Inuit Association
- Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation
Commitments under SEMA are reported publicly semi-annually.
- Diavik committed to supporting a 40 per cent northern workforce during construction. At its conclusion, Diavik had reached 44 per cent northern employment.
- Diavik committed to reaching levels of northern purchasing of 38 per cent during construction. At its conclusion, Diavik had actually reached 74 per cent, representing about CAD $900 million in contracts with northern companies, of which approximately $600 million was with Aboriginal companies.
- During operations, Diavik has committed to purchasing 70 per cent of its annual requirements for goods and services from northern companies.
- For operations, Diavik committed to 66 per cent northern employment and 40 per cent Aboriginal employment for its operations.
- At year-end 2013, the Diavik Diamond Mine employed 997 people. Of the total, 485 are northern and of the northern total 171 are northern Aboriginal peoples. Diavik employs a total of 236 Aboriginal peoples.
- From start of construction in 2000 through 2013, Diavik's total cumulative spending was Cdn $6.0 billion, of which 72 per cent ($4.3 billion) was northern. Diavik's spending with Aboriginal business is $2.3 billion.
Diavik formally involves communities in monitoring and in an advisory capacity through the Environmental Monitoring Advisory Board created under the Environmental Agreement, the Diavik Communities Advisory Board under the Socio-Economic Monitoring Agreement, and implementation committees under its Participation Agreements.
Diavik's ongoing commitment to its workforce and to local communities is also evident in its heath and safety programs, and in its investment in training and employment opportunities to build social and economic prosperity in the region.
Diavik's commitment to a safe and healthy work environment manifests in its stringent health and safety standards and initiatives in employee education, performance measurement, systems review and the setting of continuous improvement targets.
Diavik supports workforce and community development and education through a range of scholarships, apprenticeships and community contributions.