History of Diamonds in the NWT

It all began in November 1991, when geologists Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blusson found 81 small diamonds at Lac de Gras in the NWT. This discovery ignited the greatest diamond staking rush in North American history, and led to their part ownership of the EKATI Diamond Mine, Canada’s first.

By 2004, claim posts were placed in the ground at every quarter mile to surround more than 28 million hectares (70 million acres) in the NWT and Nunavut. Today, Canada is the third largest diamond producer by value in the world after Botswana and Russia, largely due to the success of the NWT diamond industry.

The GNWT made it a priority to ensure this multi-million dollar industry would benefit the NWT economy and residents, and protect the land, water and animals for future generations, by developing agreements with each mine in its permitting stages, in cooperation with the federal government and Aboriginal organizations. These include Socio-Economic, and in some cases, Environmental Agreements. 

For NWT diamonds cut and polished by Approved NWT Diamond Manufacturers, mandatory monitoring and reporting guarantees producers and customers that their GOVERNMENT CERTIFIED CANADIAN DIAMOND™ is mined, cut and polished in the NWT in a responsible and ethical manner.