Northwest Territories and Aboriginal Peoples – Diavik Diamond Mines – 1999 – Socio-Economic Monitoring Agreement

Basic information

Country

Canada

Community party

The Government of the Northwest Territories and Aboriginal Peoples

Company signatory

Diavik Diamond Mines Inc.

Resource(s)

Diamonds

Project phase covered

Industry

Mining

National government: signatory?

No

Local government: signatory?

Yes

Was the agreement required by law?

No

Term

Agreement ends after fulfillment of the conditions in Art. 7.14

Date of contract signature

10/02/1999

Language

English

Location

East Island, Lac De Gras

Source: URL

Reports

OpenCorporates ID

Listings in other databases

Listing of the parent contract at ResourceContracts.org or OpenLandContracts.org

Summary of contract

  • Negotiation, representation, and other relevant context

    The parties to the agreement are Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. (Diavik Diamond Mines), the government of the Northwest Territories as represented by the Minister of the Department of Resources, Wildlife and Economic Development (the government), and any aboriginal authority that has exercised its right to become a party to the agreement (Aboriginal Authorities). The Aboriginal Authorities include Dogrib Treaty 11 Council, Lutsel K’e Dene Band, North Slave Métis Alliance, Yellowknives Dene First Nation, and Kitikmeot Inuit Association. Diavik Diamond Mines, as manager of an unincorporated joint venture with Aber Diamond Mines Ltd., proposes to establish a mine and related facilities located at the East Island in Lac de Gras, Northwest Territories, for the commercial production of rough diamonds (Recitals). Diavik Diamond Mines and the government acknowledge that the aboriginal authorities have aboriginal and treaty rights, and nothing in the agreement abrogates or derogates those rights (Recitals). The purpose of the agreement is to: (i) provide a mechanism for effective communication, consultation, and cooperation between the parties; (ii) provide for capacity-building and sustainable economic development, while minimizing negative socio-economic impacts from the project; (iii) verify the predicted socio-economic effects of the project, and ensure commitments are acted upon by the parties; (iv) engage those most affected by the project in assessment, decision-making and management of the resulting socio-economic effects; and (v) establish a communities advisory board to review and monitor the socio-economic impacts of the project and provide recommendations and advice to the communities, the government and Diavik Diamond Mines (Art. 1.1). Diavik Diamond Mines and the government will implement the agreement following principles such as (i) the government, industry, Aboriginal Authorities and communities must work together to enable people to maximize their employment potential and to contribute to the economic and social development of the area; (ii) economic diversification is a recognized goal within the territories; and (iii) recommendations, decisions and actions flowing from the agreement will be consistent with the beliefs, customs, knowledge and values of the aboriginal people affected (Art. 1.2). Aboriginal Authorities may exercise an option to be signatories or parties to the agreement (Art. 1.3).

  • Governance, implementation, dispute resolution

    One of the stated purposes of the agreement is to provide a mechanism for effective communication, consultation and cooperation between Diavik Diamond Mines, the government and Aboriginal Authorities signatories of the agreement (Art. 1.1.2). The agreement creates a Diavik Project Communities Group Advisory Board (the advisory board). Article 2.1.4 establishes the composition of the advisory board. This advisory board’s role is to: (i) provide comment, recommendations and advice to the parties and the communities; (ii) monitor, review and make recommendations on employment and training, the business opportunity strategy and its Employee and Family Assistance Program, (iii) provide opportunities for public participation and involvement; (iv) monitor mitigation measures and commitments in each area; and (v) make recommendations to the parties for adaptive mitigation measures to achieve the purposes and commitments of the agreement (Art. 2.1). If a dispute arises, the parties shall use all reasonable efforts to resolve the dispute amicably within 60 days or in the time agreed upon by the parties. If the dispute is not resolved amicably, then the parties must submit the matter to binding arbitration. Diavik Diamond Mines, the government, and Aboriginal Authorities signatories can resolve a dispute at any by time by mutual agreement recorded in writing and signed by authorized representatives of the disputing parties (Art. 7.1).

  • Community development obligations: Local content

    Diavik Diamond Mines and the government recognize that the project represents a major development with the potential to provide significant employment benefits and intend to maximize project-related employment opportunities for Northerners, as set out in Appendices A and B (Art. 3.1). Diavik Diamond Mines agrees to establish employment policies, practices and development programs pursuant to Appendix A (Art. 3.2). Diavik Diamond Mines agrees to establish training programs on-site and in communities pursuant to Appendix B (Art. 3.3.1). The government agrees to support the commitment to maximize project-related employment opportunities for Northerners through the initiatives and programs outlined in Appendix B (Art. 3.3.2). The Aboriginal Authority Parties agree to support the commitment to maximize project-related employment opportunities through their own initiatives and programs and through those programs, which they have the responsibility to deliver (Art. 3.3.3). Diavik Diamond Mines and the government have entered into a memorandum of understanding in relation to the availability of rough diamonds from the project to secondary diamond industry manufacturers based in the community. Pursuant to the memorandum, Diavik Diamond Mines and the government must negotiate an agreement on secondary industry issues, such as (i) the allocation for approved community manufacturers; a process of selection, review, assessment and approval of community manufacturers; (iii) monitoring to ensure manufacturing takes place in the community; and (iv) a process for sales to community manufacturers (Art. 4.2.1). Diavik Diamond Mines must hire persons giving priority to Aboriginal persons and people from the Northwest. Diavik Diamond Mines must place special emphasis on pre-employment training and employment of Aboriginal persons (Appendix A, 1-2). Subject to the availability of Northerners with the required skills, training and experience, Diavik Diamond Mines confirms that it will take all reasonable steps to work towards: (a) employment of Northerners, including employment by contractors, will be at least 40% of the total employment throughout the construction phase of the project; and (b) employment of Aboriginal (first priority) persons, including employment by contractors, will collectively make up at least 40% of the total employment throughout the operation phase of the project and employment of Northerners, including employment by contractors, will collectively be at least 66% of the total employment throughout the operation phase of the project (Appendix A, 3). Diavik Diamond Mines aspires that, over time, the Project workforce will approach 100% Northerners. (Appendix A, 5). Diavik Diamond Mines must provide employees with free work-related round-trip transportation to the mine site from the communities (Appendix A, 10). Diavik Diamond Mines agrees to provide training for at least 8 and up to 18 apprentice positions (Appendix B, 1). The government agrees to support the commitment to maximize employment opportunities for Northerners in the project through the initiatives and programs such as: (a) continue offering pre-employment training programs; (b) develop an accelerated apprenticeship program; and (c) provide training allowances and training subsidies to eligible candidates (Appendix B, 5). Diavik Diamond Mines will establish contracting and local procurement policies and practices pursuant to maximize business opportunities for Northerners through the initiatives and programs outlined in Appendix C (Art. 4.3.1, Appendix C). Diavik Diamond Mines will prepare a report containing a business opportunities forecast identifying potential business opportunities related to the project (Art. 4.4.3). Diavik Diamond Mines agrees to implement policies that are intended to maximize business opportunities for northern businesses, whenever practicable and consistent with sound procurement management. Diavik Diamond Mines agrees to take the measures to maximize project related business opportunities for Northern Businesses, including, among others, to: (a) provide technical support and assistance in accessing sources of commercial capital throughout the business assessment, planning and development phases; (b) work closely with Northern communities to cooperatively achieve success in creating long-term business and employment opportunities and in increasing business capacity; (c) design and communicate clear business development strategies for Aboriginal authorities (Appendix C, 9).

  • Environmental and social protection

    Pursuant to the comprehensive study report (CSR) on environmental assessment issued under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, a socio-economic monitoring agreement must be entered into in order to provide a formal mechanism to monitor and implement mitigating measures by Diavik Diamond Mines. (Recitals). The parties intend to protect cultural and community well-being such as (i) ensuring that all employee relations personnel can communicate in at least one local aboriginal language; (ii) paying for aboriginal language interpreters at community meetings; (iii) encouraging aboriginal language speakers at the mine site to communicate in their mother tongue; (iv) encouraging aboriginal workers to live in their home communities; (v) providing Dene, Métis and Inuit reading and video materials on-site; (vi) providing employees with one week of unaccountable leave; (vii) discussing with the advisory board the cross-cultural training needs of Diavik Diamond Mines’ employees; (viii) assisting in the development of drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs, money management workshops and other individual support matters; (ix) providing communication links to home communities; (x) permitting periodic spousal tours of the worksite; (xi) maintaining an Employee and Family Assistance Programme for employees and their immediate families, which will develop partnerships with local community support agencies; (xiii) employing Employee Relations Personnel on site and in the communities; (xiv) serving country food at the mine site; (xv) maintaining and providing space at the mine site for spiritual or other employee-driven requirements; (xvi) providing recreation facilities and a recreation coordinator at the mine site; (xvii) enforcing a sexual harassment policy at the mine site, and an alcohol-and-drug-free workplace policy; (xviii) notifying communities along Highways of increased truck traffic; (xix) working closely with mandated government agencies to develop a project-related strategy to diversify the regional and local economies; (xx) gradually reducing employment at the mine site upon closure; (xxi) providing outplacement counselling, family adjustment and pension and savings plan seminars in the communities; (xxii) encouraging the development of sustainable businesses that will not be uniquely dependent on the project; and (xxiii) making freezers available for storing country food (Arts. 5.1.2, 5.2.2, Appendix D, Art. 2).

  • Transparency or confidentiality

    Diavik Diamond Mines and the government agree to preserve the confidentiality of the information collected in implementing the agreement. The parties also acknowledge that the advisory board requires reasonable data with which to consider and make decisions. All data and reports collected under the agreement and considered by the advisory board will be maintained so that there is no disclosure of the information gathered that could identify, or could reasonably be expected to identify, an individual to whom it relates (Art. 7.17.1).