New diamond producing company set to conduct business in the NWT

Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek speaking at the GNWT's budget lockup. (Photo by Bailey Moreton/MyTrueNorthNow.com.)
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Diamonds de Canada has been approved as an Approved NWT Diamond Manufacturer, allowing them to use NWT rough diamonds in their manufacturing process.

A condition of the approval is that the company does the processing of NWT diamonds, which includes cutting and polishing the stones, in territory.

“The history and love of diamonds in the NWT is woven into the fabric of this amazing community,” Benjamin King, Interim CEO for Diamonds de Canada, said in a statement.

“With the right technological solutions coupled with the polishing talent in Yellowknife, there is an opportunity to showcase the best rough diamonds in the world and work them into polished diamonds.”

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The company says they will hire and train NWT residents to work in the manufacturing process. The company uses automated cutting machines in the process. They are also working with local artists to design 

There is currently one other approved manufacturer working in the NWT, Almod Diamonds.

Finance Minister Caroline Wawzonek said diversifying the NWT’s diamond industry to include more manufacturing businesses will help boost the territory’s economy.

““As the GNWT’s diamond industry continues to diversify into the manufacturing of diamonds, residents will be exposed to new training and job opportunities that will strengthen their communities and the territory as whole. 

The mining sector has been hard hit by the pandemic, with the international market severely declining and costs rising due to COVID-19 restrictions.

This has impacted the GNWT’s revenues, as the industry declined, which severely cut back the royalties they received from mining companies.

Initial estimates in the 2020-21 budget forecasted $30.7 million in royalties from mining in 2020, but the revised budget forecasted the GNWT would receive no royalties. The numbers in 2021-22 are only slightly higher, with the GNWT anticipating $1.5 million in royalties from mining companies.

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