Sustainable development

Sustainable development

We firmly believe our work to develop Canada’s rich resources can and must coexist with a healthy, thriving environment. That’s why we listen to our neighbors and their concerns. It’s why we build partnerships with our nation’s environmental leaders, and it’s why we invest and innovate to make our operations among the cleanest, safest and most energy efficient in the world.

Harnessing the power of the wind

At Diavik, we’re mining ethically produced diamonds in one of Canada’s most forbidding places. Diavik is just 220 kilometres from the Acrtic Circle. With no year-round road access, workers are flown to the site from nearby communities. The mine’s annual resupply is completed using the seasonal winter ice road.

In this remote sub-arctic landscape, we’ve built a wind farm that generates renewable energy for our off-grid mine, even when temperatures are well below -40oC.

Diesel generators are Diavik’s main source of power, but this $31 million wind farm generates 11 per cent of the energy our operation needs, reduces our carbon footprint by 7 per cent and saves 5 million litres of diesel fuel every year.

This four turbine 9.2 megawatt facility is the first large-scale windfarm in Canada’s Northwest Territories and Rio Tinto’s first globally.

Hydropower – Generating renewable energy from Canada’s watershed

As water moves through Canada’s rivers and streams, our network of hydroelectric power plants harness its energy, generating clean power for our aluminum smelters, with no increase in our carbon footprint. One hundred per cent of the energy we use to produce aluminum comes from this renewable resource. Our power networks are also connected to the grid, giving local utilities and families in the region additional power during peak times.

Protecting Canada’s white sturgeon

There’s no other fish quite like the white sturgeon. These miniature whales can weigh in at more than 800 kilos and live to be 100 years old. Here in Canada, you’ll find them only in British Columbia’s rivers and lakes, where pollution and shrinking habitats threaten their survival.

We’re working with the Nechako Environmental Enhancement Fund to safeguard this remarkable fish and protect the Nechako River, where white sturgeon come to spawn.