June 6, 2019
Minister of Industry Tourism and Investment, Wally Schumann led a delegation to JCK Las Vegas this month – the world’s premier diamond conference.
In addition to representing and promoting NWT diamonds, the delegation met with leaders from other diamond producing nations, current and potential Approved NWT Diamond Manufacturers, and other industry executives.
Changes to the GNWT’s Diamond Policy Framework, geared towards encouraging value-added local manufacturing, were a hot topic of discussion with many at the conference.
The NWT model, which provides manufacturers the flexibility to succeed, is being seen as a potential game changer on a global scale.
Countries and experts in beneficiation view the NWT model as one which can be adapted to other regions with similar challenges. Of particularly interest is the move to encourage locally-manufactured diamonds as a potential driver for diverse investments in the NWT.
The JCK conference, which brings together the world’s leading industry executives and innovators, also provided an opportunity for GNWT representatives to learn and benefit from new knowledge and best practices in areas like encouraging retail-level diamond activity, new technology, and market trends.
Most notably, this year, Minister Schumann met with beneficiation representatives and recipients from Namibia and South Africa.
The direct and indirect benefits of attending industry events such as JCK Las Vegas are realized at multiple levels.
For example, the NWT’s elevated profile at last year’s JCK event resulted in establishing a new $25,000 annual scholarship by the Diamond Empowerment Fund for students selected by the NWT Mine Training Society.
The NWT’s presence, as the world’s third-largest producer of diamonds by value, further serves to promote the NWT as a place to invest in mining and exploration.