Policies & Issues

Rio Tinto’s Diavik Donates $180K to United Way Amid Canadian Wildfires

Policies & IssuesAug 28, 2023

Rio Tinto’s Diavik Donates $180K to United Way Amid Canadian Wildfires

The funds will go toward direct assistance, providing essentials like food and fuel to those impacted.

View of wildfires in Yellowknife Canada
An aerial view of one of the wildfires burning near Yellowknife in Canada’s Northwest Territories. Rio Tinto, owner of the Diavik Mine, made a six-figure donation to the United Way Northwest Territories to support wildfire response efforts. (Photo courtesy of the NWT Fire Facebook page)
Yellowknife, Canada—As wildfires rage across Canada’s Northwest Territories, Rio Tinto was forced to shutter its office in Yellowknife.

Its Diavik Diamond Mine is located about 186 miles northeast of Yellowknife, and though not directly threatened by the fire, operations continue at a reduced capacity, as of last week.

After providing support to its employees and their families, the miner reached out to the government of the Northwest Territories and the City of Yellowknife to see how it could best offer assistance.

The company has donated 250,000 Canadian dollars ($183,400) to the United Way Northwest Territories to support wildfire response efforts. 

The funds stem from the Rio Tinto Disaster Relief Fund, which it uses to support host communities in emergencies.

The money will go toward direct assistance, with a focus on providing essentials like food and fuel.

“At Diavik, we understand the importance of community resilience and timely support. Our hearts go out to everyone impacted, which includes many of our own employees,” said Diavik Diamond Mine President and Chief Operating Officer Angela Bigg.

“This contribution is a testament to our long-standing commitment to supporting our communities, especially when they need it the most. Our partnership with the United Way will help ensure that the necessary resources promptly reach those in dire need.”

 Related stories will be right here … 

Tracy St. Denis, board chair of the United Way NWT, expressed the organization’s gratitude.

“As people are forced to evacuate from their communities across the Northwest Territories, the need will only continue to grow, and it’s heartening to see Diavik step up and contribute significant funds to help evacuees and emergency efforts,” said St. Denis.

Rio Tinto said, alongside working with the United Way, it is committed to supporting Indigenous governments and community-led efforts.

Under its guidelines, registered charities can apply for funding from Rio Tinto, though individual recipients are not eligible.

“Rio Tinto continues to monitor the situation and evaluate the needs of the communities, as well as our employees and contractors,” said the company.

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