The Diavik diamond mine in the Northwest Territories is a global leader in cold-climate renewable energy production and turbine technology. As the largest wind-diesel hybrid power facility in the world, the wind farm produces enough energy during peak levels to power its underground mine.
Diavik has set new benchmarks in environmental protection by offsetting 5.2 million litres of diesel fuel, 14,404 tonnes of CO2-e, and 100 loads of road fuel haul in 2015. As the pioneer of the first turbines without gearboxes, they have eliminated the need for lubricants in harsh subarctic climates.
The Diavik and Ekati mines operate with the goal of restoring their mining sites to viable and self-sustaining ecosystems that support safe and healthy environments for human and wildlife activity. Both mines are continuously preparing for their eventual closures through progressive restoration of their environment. They are creating safe access routes for caribou, spawning fish habitats in surrounding lakes, and conducting re-vegetation studies in surrounding areas.
The Diavik, Ekati, Gahcho Kué, and Renard mines have a long-standing commitment to improving the lives of local Indigenous people and their communities. They have signed Impact Benefit Agreements (IBA) which are contracts highlighting how the mines will share the benefits of their operations with local northern Indigenous communities through employment and economic development.
These mines actively involve local communities in their decision-making and sustainability practices. They have partnered with Aboriginal groups to monitor their environmental impact in order to preserve the local ways of life. They contribute to local economies by providing labour training programs with the Canadian government and Aboriginal groups, and creating local employment. They prioritize environmental stewardship through the preservation of land, water, and wildlife.
In the summer of 2016, the Central African Republic (CAR) restarted diamond exports three years after its “blood diamonds” were found to be funding armed groups in an inter-religious conflict. Conflict between these groups resulted in deaths of more than 5,000 people, counting several serious human rights violations including rape, summary executions, enforced disappearances, and child labour.
The ban placed on diamond exports in 2012 from the CAR did not cover the trade of blood diamonds within the CAR. As a result, during the three year ban, thousands of carats of diamonds were stockpiled in certain regions of the republic. As the CAR ranks in the top ten diamond producers by value, millions of dollars worth of diamonds have re-entered the international market and are currently sitting jewelry stores worldwide.