Aboriginal Partnerships

Case Studies +

Our Aboriginal partners in northern Canada are important stakeholders whose rights, Traditional Knowledge (TK), and cultural heritage we respect and value. Our mines could not succeed without their support, and we in turn share the benefits of our operations with them.

At the Ekati mine, we have Impact Benefit Agreements (IBAs) for the life of the mine with four groups:

  • the Tłı̨chǫ Government
  • Akaitcho Treaty 8 (including Yellowknives Dene First Nation and Łutsel K’e Dene First Nation)
  • North Slave Métis Alliance
  • the Hamlet of Kugluktuk/Kitikmeot Inuit Association

The IBAs establish commitments to funding, training, preferential hiring, business opportunities, and communications. Since inheriting the IBAs when we took ownership of the Ekati mine, we have worked with our partners to explore additional community development initiatives that go above and beyond the original agreements.

The Diavik mine has negotiated private Participation Agreements with five Aboriginal groups:

  • the Tłı̨chǫ Government
  • Yellowknives Dene First Nation
  • North Slave Métis Alliance
  • the Kitikmeot Inuit Association
  • the Łutsel K’e Dene First Nation

These agreements provide for mine-related training, employment, business development, and capacity-building opportunities. Diavik also has a socio-economic monitoring agreement with the GNWT, and the five Aboriginal groups are signatories.

Ongoing engagement, consultation, and collaboration are key to making these relationships work. Topics of discussion include wildlife and environment, training and employment, future projects, and reclamation plans. We directly involve IBA communities in environmental monitoring programs in order to effectively align TK into our operations.

In addition, we have formal yearly meetings with each of the business arms of our IBA partners, and issue expression of interest letters to share upcoming project opportunities. Where possible, we divide work up in order to give small or new businesses an opportunity to work on smaller contracts, allowing them to build capacity. We also ask businesses to consider forming IBA joint ventures where there is an opportunity for mutual benefit.

Although the terms of the IBAs and Participation Agreements are confidential, performance details on many of the topics can be found in the Ekati Diamond Mine 2016 Socio-Economic Agreement Report and the Diavik Diamond Mine 2016 Sustainable Development Report.