One curious elf goes on an adventure at our Diavik Diamond Mine
21 December 2020
My name is Nugget. I’m the Chief Science Elf in Santa’s Workshop, at the North Pole.
This week, Santa sent me out to buy more wrapping paper (an unexpected number of good little boys and girls this year), but I got a little lost along the way.
Luckily for me, the Diavik team found me. I was 200km south of the North Pole in Canada’s Northwest Territories! But I was so excited to meet them because I LOVE science.
I love building stuff and I love rocks – especially ones that sparkle like elf dust! HELLO DIAVIK DIAMOND MINE!
I had so many questions: What happens at a mine? Is it safe? And do you get rainbow-flavoured cotton candy for breakfast? Oh – and can I have a diamond? (Santa needs new bling.)
So, for the past month my Diavik friends have been showing me around their diamond mine. Here’s what I learned:
Just like at Santa’s Workshop, health and safety is top priority. Santa is always saying to us, “Making toys for all the kids is important, but your health and safety always comes first”. When I got to Diavik I had to do a health check, get a flu shot to keep me in tip top shape (Doc says I need to cut back on the candy canes, sigh), and fitted with all the right safety gear – like ear plugs (red and green ones – my favourite colours!), safety glasses, and really strong boots to keep my feet safe. At the start of every shift we talked about what we need do to stay safe – and keep our team mates safe too.
A mine takes a lot of science and a lot of creativity. Did you know Diavik’s diamonds are buried UNDER A LAKE? How cool is that?! The Diavik team built special walls that hold the water back so they can find the diamonds. And when their mining is done they’ll let the water back into the lake, and the buildings will be taken away. And, like magic, you’ll never even know it was there. No magic here though friends: study maths and science, and you can do amazing things like this too!
And it takes a lot of people. There are over 1,000 people working at Diavik – ALMOST as many as the elves in Santa’s Workshop. There are environmental scientists, safety experts, chefs, engineers, nurses, truck drivers, the housekeeping team who keep the site neat and clean, pilots, weather experts, mechanics, computer geniuses and people who work in a giant warehouse that stores everything from AAA batteries to truck engines as big as Santa’s sleigh. The only thing they’re missing is a Chief Science Elf…ahem.
They love Rudolph (and the other reindeer too) as much as I do. Some of my best pals are reindeers: Dancer, Prancer, Blitzen – and Rudolph of course! The Diavik team are passionate about looking after plants and animals. They have a special team that keeps check on animals like caribou and fish, make sure the water used at the mine and put back in the lake is safe for people and animals, and that waste is carefully managed.
They’re proud to call the Northwest Territories home. Everyone I’ve spoken to at Diavik agrees it’s a really special place – the peaceful tundra, the caribou playing in the snow and the northern lights twinkling overhead. It’s an honour and a privilege to work on the traditional lands of many First Nations peoples. Through our partnership – and with the help of so many local businesses and neighbours, the Diavik team is proud to make some of the world’s most ethical diamonds.
Thanks for having me Diavik – I’ve sure learned a lot.
And Happy Holidays everyone! Be good!