Report: Diamond mines continue to deliver enormous benefits to NWT

14 November 2017

(Yellowknife, NT – November 14, 2017) The Northwest Territories’ diamond mines continue to provide significant socio-economic benefits in the areas of training, employment, and business benefits, according to the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines’ report: Measuring success 1996-2016: Diamond mines deliver big benefits to the NWT.

The report presents data from the Ekati, Diavik, Gahcho Kué, and Snap Lake mines’ publically available socio-economic reports which the mines submit annually to the NWT Government in fulfilment of their socio-economic agreement commitments.

Information in the Chamber’s report includes 2016 data and the cumulative totals from 1996 when construction of the first diamond mine began. The report also provides details on mine training successes, and the mines’ numerous safety and business recognitions, environmental protection programs, and innovative approaches to achieve efficiencies at the mines’ remote Canadian subarctic locations.

Socio-economic highlights of the report include:


In 2016, diamond mines provided:

  • 3,761 person years of employment with 1,667 (44%) northern, of which 798 (48%) are northern Indigenous
  • Northern employment that exceeded original mine projections by 685 person years

Since 1996, the mines have provided:

  • 54,918 person years of employment of which 26,441 person years (48%) has been northern. Half of the northern workforce has been Indigenous

Business spending

In 2016, the diamond mines spent:

  • $1.4 billion, of which $818 million (59%) was with northern businesses; $325 million (23%) was with northern Indigenous businesses
  • ~$11 million on community donations, sponsorships, scholarships, and other financial contributions.

Since 1996; the mines have spent:

  • $18.7 billion for construction and operations, of which $13.1 billion (70%) was with northern businesses and $5.6 billion (30%) was with northern Indigenous businesses

“The benefits created through the development and operation of the NWT diamond mines continues to be unprecedented. Their collective work with governments, including Indigenous governments, with northern communities and businesses, as well as with many local organizations, is ensuring northerners continue to participate and receive opportunities and benefits,” said Chamber of Mines President Gary Vivian. “The magnitude of these benefits demonstrates what can be achieved when we respectfully work together to develop the North’s mineral resources, our economic advantage,” he added.

To read the full report, which also includes information on potential future resource opportunities, infrastructure developments, barriers to success, changes and trends, and climate change and the role of mining, click here.

For more information on the NWT and Nunavut mining industries, please visit the Chamber of Mines website at or contact Tom Hoefer, Executive Director at Tel: 867-873-5281 or email: