25 Years of Diamonds

November 2016 marked the 25th Anniversary of the announcement by Diamet Minerals in November 1991 that they had discovered some microdiamonds in the vicinity of Lac De Gras, NWT. That discovery launched the world's largest traditional (on the ground) staking rush, and the subsequent exploration investment resulted in the discovery of many previously unthought of diamond deposits. To date, the economics of several of them have resulted in our operating mines.  

Our NWT diamond mines have created the most significant, non-governmental economic contributions the Northwest Territories has experienced in our modern times. These include:

  • Over 1,500 northerners trained
  • Over 24,000 person years of Northern jobs of which approximately 50% are Aboriginal
  • Over $12 billion in Northern business, of which $5 billion was with Aboriginal businesses
  • Significant taxes & royalties to both public and Aboriginal governments
  • Over $100 million to communities

Special 25th Anniversary Diamond Publication

The 25th Anniversary was celebrated with a Silver Anniversary Special Edition publication, 25 Years of Diamonds, describing the many positive impacts of 25 years of NWT diamonds.  

25th Anniversary NWT Diamond Gala celebrated contributions of explorers, miners and Aboriginal governments 

The 25th Anniversary was also  celebrated with a sold out NWT Diamond Gala event held in Yellowknife on November 17, 2016.  Recognition was given to key diamond deposit discoverers, diamond mines, and Aboriginal governments by the Premier of the Northwest Territories and the Minister of Education, Culture and Employment on behalf of the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment. 

During the event, two slide shows were played: 

  • The first slide show describes the history of diamond exploration and discovery in northern Canada. 
  • The second slide show is a historical look back to construction and operation of the diamond mines. 


Diamond Discovery Team Members Recognized

The Honourable Robert R. McLeod, Premier of the NWT recognized and thanked the individuals who are considered key to the discovery and early development of the diamond deposits.

  • Charles Fipke
  • Stewart Blusson
  • James Eccott
  • Grenville Thomas 
  • Robert Gannicott
  • Chris Jennings
  • Ned Goodman
  • Randy Turner
  • Harry Dobson
  • John Dupuis

Aboriginal Governments / Nations Recognized

The Premier also recognized the important contributions of the Aboriginal governments and groups that have participated in the development of the mines:

  • Tlicho Government
  • Yellowknives Dene First Nation
  • Lutsel K’e and Kache Dene First Nation
  • Deninu Kué First Nation
  • Northwest Territory Métis Nation
  • North Slave Métis Alliance 
  • Kitikmeot Inuit Association 

Mines Recognized

The Honourable Alfred Moses, NWT Minister of Education, Culture and Employment, recognized the significant benefits the four NWT diamond mines have provided to the North (see also the November 15, 2016 Chamber news release).

  • Ekati Diamond Mine (Dominion Diamond Corporation)
  • Diavik Diamond Mine (Rio Tinto and Dominion Diamond Corporation)
  • Snap Lake Diamond Mine (the De Beers Group of Companies)
  • Gahcho Kué Diamond Mine (the De Beers Group of Companies and Mountain Province Diamonds) 

A Big 'THANK YOU' to our Sponsors! 

Thank you to the sponsors of the event: the NWT Industry, Tourism & Investment, Dominion Diamond Corporation, Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., De Beers Group of Companies, Kellett Communications, Aboriginal Business Quarterly, Olivut Resources, the Nuna Group of Companies, Matco Moving Solutions, Manitoulin Transport, and Crossworks Manufacturing

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