As diamond mining operations flourished, there was clearly an opportunity to establish and foster a secondary cutting and polishing industry in the NWT. As well, locally sorting rough stones coming from the mines could keep them separate from diamonds from the rest of the world.
As a result, two sorting facilities, and several innovative manufacturing facilities were built in Yellowknife. These factories brought some of the world's most experienced and skilled diamond cutting and polishing craftsmen to Yellowknife to oversee employees as they turned NWT rough stones into polished diamonds of the highest quality in the world.
This pursuit of excellence prompted the Department of Education, Culture and Employment to develop occupational standards for occupations within the diamond cutting and polishing industry. These standards set out the knowledge and skills necessary for competency in a given occupation. High standards and rigorous certification testing ensure people trained in the NWT facilities had the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to develop into skilled professional cutters. This program was a world-first for the diamond industry.
The GNWT remains committed to developing and growing the NWT secondary industry. With the 2010 update of the Diamond Policy Framework (originally released in 1999), the GNWT committed its support to the industry and its pursuit to authenticate NWT diamonds mined, cut and polished in the NWT. This includes the Approved NWT Diamond Manufacturer certification and the GNWT Diamond Certification Program.
The key to developing diamond manufacturing opportunities is reliable access to quality rough diamonds. Agreements and arrangements with the two operating mines guarantee Approved NWT Diamond Manufacturers have access to rough stones for the purpose of manufacturing diamonds in the NWT.
Apply to become a certified NWT diamond manufacturer using the document below.