De Beers Group's Report Shows How Diamonds Help Communities Sparkle in Canada

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De Beers Group's Report Shows How Diamonds Help Communities Sparkle in Canada

De Beers Group boosted communities near its mines in Canada in 2016 by procuring more goods and services locally and strengthening support for training and development, according to its latest Report to Society.
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CAMPAIGN: De Beers Report to Society 2016

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It has invested C$125 million (US$93 million) in local procurement, including awarding its first ‘evergreen’ supply contract to aboriginal-owned business Bouwa Whee Catering at its new Gahcho Kué diamond mine in the Northwest Territories.

De Beers recognised that short-term contracts gave only limited scope for investment and planning, thus reducing job opportunities locally, so it now offers contracts lasting for the duration of the mine. Bouwa Whee Catering, 100 per cent owned by the Yellowknives Dene First Nation, is now responsible for catering services at the mine until mining ends.

Kim Truter, CEO, De Beers Canada, said: “Last year marked a milestone for De Beers Canada with the opening of our Gahcho Kué mine, which has already begun delivering additional socio-economic benefits beyond those seen during its construction.

“We understand that the future success of the mine is largely dependent on our continued commitment to maintaining strong relationships with local communities and our supply chain. The new contract with Bouwa Whee Catering is the first of many examples of the partnerships that will help us realise this success.”  

The Report, published on 4 May, shows that the company also supported community development initiatives. Around C$6.6 million (US$4.9 million) was spent on community development initiatives, including teaching local indigenous high-school students about teamwork and the local environment, and distributing books to local schools and homes. It also spent more than C$356,000 (US$267,000) on training for employees.

During the year, De Beers Canada was recognised for its efforts in safety at Victor mine by winning the John T Ryan Award for the safest mine in Canada, and its Gahcho Kué mine won the Workplace Health and Safety Award.

Underlining its commitment to the environment, the company developed a seed collection, propagation and planting programme at Victor mine, working with the Attawapiskat community, to help rehabilitate the site.

As a result of its improved financial and operating performance, De Beers Group returned US$5 billion to stakeholders globally in 2016 – a 26 per cent rise on 2015 – through taxes, payments and dividends, emphasising the importance of the relationships with stakeholders, including governments, communities, suppliers and joint venture partners.

The Report to Society 2016 can be viewed online at www.debeersgroup.com/reporttosociety.

About De Beers
De Beers is a member of the Anglo American plc group. Established in 1888, De Beers is the world’s leading diamond company with expertise in the exploration, mining and marketing of diamonds. Together with its joint venture partners, De Beers employs more than 20,000 people across the diamond pipeline and is the world’s largest diamond producer by value, with mining operations in Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa. As part of the company’s operating philosophy, the people of De Beers are committed to ‘Building Forever’ by making a lasting contribution to the communities in which they live and work, and transforming natural resources into shared national wealth. For further information about De Beers, visit www.debeersgroup.com.

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CAMPAIGN: De Beers Report to Society 2016

CONTENT: Multimedia with summary