Wherever it does business, Rio Tinto aims to provide a legacy of stronger, healthier and environmentally secure communities. All of our diamond mines are located in areas of social and economic disadvantage, so there is much that we are doing to ensure that the presence of our mines creates lasting benefits for these communities – from providing training, employment and business development opportunities to sponsoring local groups and projects and supporting a range of community development initiatives. As a well-resourced guest in lands where traditional communities have had a long-term presence, we see it as our obligation to support them in securing a better and brighter future for themselves.
At our Argyle mine in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia and our Diavik mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada, we have worked closely with the Traditional Owners of the mining lease areas, developing Participation Agreements to ensure that their interests in the land are respected and that current and future generations benefit directly from the operations of the mines. As a major employer in these remote regions, where economic opportunities are quite limited, we have set targets for increasing the participation of local people, especially local indigenous people, in our workforces. We have also set in place training and business development programmes to improve the skills base of local communities and support the growth of self-sustaining businesses. In addition, we have a commitment to improving community and social infrastructure for indigenous communities, supporting local education and health projects and establishing scholarships for students.