Diavik Diamond Mines Inc.
Diavik Diamond Mines employee
Chosen as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013:
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors
(Oct 9, 2012)
Some of the reasons why Diavik
was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers for 2013
- offers one of the most unique work locations in Canada (and the world), complete with airplane commuting for work rotations at the mine site, ice-roads in the winter to supply construction supplies, and never-ending winter nights and summer days
- while working at the mine site, employees enjoy free food and can unwind at the fully-equipped fitness facility that includes a gymnasium for floor hockey and basketball and even an video golf driving range and putting green
- in addition to offering a phased-in retirement plan, the company helps employees save for retirement with matching RSP contributions, a share purchase plan and a defined contribution pension plan (to 6% of salary)
- as part of their flexible health benefits plan, employs can transfer their unused benefits into a savings plan or take as additional income
- supports new parents with maternity leave top-up payments for new mothers (to 90% of salary for 18 weeks)
- in addition to a unique employee discount on diamond purchases, the company also offers employee purchase program for everything from automobiles to home computers to air travel tickets
- has become a leading community citizen based in Yellowknife, recognized for its Aboriginal development program in partnership with SAIT Polytechnic and a northern resident scholarship program with approximately 120 ongoing scholarships
Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. (DDMI) operates the the Diavik Diamond Mine, which is located 300 km northeast of Yellowknife.
The mine is an unincorporated joint-venture between Yellowknife-based DDMI (60%) and Harry Winston Diamond Limited Partnership (40%). In turn, DDMI is a wholly owned subsidiary of London, United Kingdom-based Rio Tinto plc and Harry Winston Diamond Limited Partnership is owned by Toronto-based Harry Winston Diamond Corporation.
Originally staked in 1991, construction of the first open-pit mine began in 2000 with mine production beginning in 2003. In 2010, the mine began transitioning from largely an open pit mining operation to an all-underground mining operation, which ensures the mine's operational future to beyond 2020. Since it's first production diamond, Diavik has produced over 60 million carats of rough diamonds with diamonds sorted, cleaned, valued and divided at the Diavik Product Splitting Facility in Yellowknife. Today, the company's diamonds are widely recognized as among the best in the world in terms of quality.
Industry: All Other Nonmetallic Mineral Mining.
Major Canadian hiring locations: Yellowknife NT.
Parent company: Rio Tinto plc.
Full-time employees in Canada: 1,171.
New jobs created in Canada last year: 543.
Part-time employees in Canada: 3.
Workforce engaged on a contract basis: 40.7%.
Number of applications received at this location last year: 24,310.
Average age of all employees: 41.9.
Longest serving employee: 15 years.
Diavik's physical workplace is rated as exceptional. DDMI's head office is located in downtown Yellowknife and is housed in a renovated hardware store. The former retail space features several windows at street level that have been converted into a visitor's centre where individuals can take a self-guided tour to learn more about mining in the north and the Diavik Diamond Mine. Approximately 300 kilometres to the northeast and beyond the tree line in the Lac de Gras region, the Diavik mine site offers one the most unique and challenging work environments in this country (and the world) -- with airplane commuting for work rotations, ice-roads (open for approximately 10 weeks in the winter) to supply construction supplies, along with caribou migrations, never-ending winter nights and summer days. Most mine site employees work in two-week rotations, living at the mine for two weeks and flying-out for two weeks away. In addition to their accommodations, the mine features an onsite fitness facility (with free membership, treadmills, stationary bikes, stairmasters, rowing machines, weights, basketball court, sauna, shower facilities and instructor-led classes); employee lounge (with comfortable seating, music, television, foosball table, table tennis, drum set module, board games, pool table, and a video golf driving range and putting green system); nap room; religious observance room; onsite cafeteria (with free meals, healthy and special diet menus items, snacks, free coffee, tea and cold drinks); secure bicycle parking; free parking.
Work Atmosphere & Communications
Diavik's work atmosphere is rated as above-average. Depending on their position, employees enjoy casual dress daily; can listen to music while working; organized social events. The company's employee social committee has helped organize a variety of social and fundraising events for employees since the mine's founding, from a summer golf tournaments to the winter Diavik 150 Dog Derby event. Recently the company has opted to donate the funds it would otherwise spend on an annual Christmas party to a local charity -- recently funds were directed to the Stanton Territorial Hospital for the purchase of needed medical equipment. Throughout the year, Diavik keeps all employees informed about new company developments and upcoming events through a well-produced print company newsletter; corporate intranet site; traditional suggestion box.
Financial Benefits & Compensation
Diavik's financial benefits are rated as above-average. To keep salaries competitive the company participates in outside salary surveys every 12 months. Individual salaries are reviewed every 12 months. Along with competitive compensation, employees may also receive share-purchase plan for all employees; year-end bonuses for all employees; defined contribution pension plan with employer contributions (up to 6% of salary); matching RSP contributions (up to 6% of salary); life & disability insurance; phased-in retirement work options; discounts on a variety of products and services (from Ford automobiles to airline tickets); and discounted diamond purchases.
Health & Family-Friendly Benefits
Diavik's health and family benefits are rated as very good. The company's health benefits plan is managed by Manulife Financial Corporation. As part of the health plan, the employer pays 100% of the premiums. The health plan is a flexible plan with adjustable premiums and coverage levels. There is no waiting period before coverage begins. Family coverage is available on the health benefits plan. Retiree coverage is also available on the health plan, up to 75 years of age. The basic plan includes routine dental; restorative dental; orthodontics; eyecare ($450 every 2 years); traditional medicine coverage; alternative medicine coverage; employee assistance (EAP) plan; medical equipment and supplies; physiotherapy; massage therapy; homecare; travel insurance. Diavik's family-friendly benefits include; maternity top-up payments (to 90% of salary for 17 weeks); health benefits during maternity and parental leave; extended unpaid parental leave option (beyond the first year). Depending on their position, employees can also work to better balance their working and personal lives through; post-secondary academic scholarships for children of employees; flexible working hours; shortened work week (fewer hours with less pay); compressed work week; telecommuting; reduced summer hours program.
Vacation & Personal Time-Off
Diavik's vacation and personal time-off are rated as above-average. New employees receive 3 weeks of vacation allowance after their first year. Vacation increases after 3 years on the job. Long-serving employees receive a maximum of 5 weeks of vacation each year. Employees can schedule 5 personal days off each year, as needed. Employees can also apply for an unpaid leave of absence. Most mine employees work 12-hour shifts in a 2-week on and 2-week off rotation. These employees also receive 2 weeks of paid vacation each year, which translates into a 6-week off rotation from the mine.
Diavik's employee engagement program is rated as average. Employees receive individual performance reviews every 12 months. Managers receive training in how to conduct effective performance reviews. Performance feedback is also solicited from co-workers and other managers familiar with each employee's work. Exit interviews are provided for departing employees; Diavik sponsors its own in-house employee satisfaction survey.
Training & Skills Development
Diavik's training and skills development program is rated as above-average. Employees receive tuition subsidies for courses related to their position. (Employer pays up to $5,000 in subsidies). Along with generous tuition subsidies, Diavik also provides subsidies for professional accreditations; in-house apprenticeship and skilled trades programs; formal mentoring program; career planning services; in-house training programs; online training programs.
Diavik's community involvement program is rated as exceptional. Since its establishment, the company has maintained a steady focus on supporting a variety of local community-based initiatives throughout the region. Employees take part in the selection of charitable groups assisted each year. Employees receive paid time off to volunteer with their favourite charitable organizations. Diavik has donated funds, helped raise money and supplied construction expertise for the development of needed facilities across the region, including hockey arenas, social service facilities and healthcare equipment. The company also has a standing three-year commitment to the Yellowknife Community Foundation gala -- sponsoring and organizing a variety of fundraising auctions, including donating a diamond, commissioning a local artist's carving, and partnering with two local firms for fly-in fishing trips. Diavik also maintains an Aboriginal training and development program in partnership with the Southern Alberta Institute of Techology (SAIT) and manages an ongoing scholarship program that is open to northern residents (and employees' family members) from across the region -- the company has awarded over $1.7 million through 1,200 scholarships over the past decade.
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