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Article: Diavik diamond mine focuses on sustainability: Canada's largest solar system is being built

Diavik Diamantenmine setzt auf Nachhaltigkeit: Kanadas größte Solaranlage entsteht

Diavik diamond mine focuses on sustainability: Canada's largest solar system is being built

Rio Tinto's Diavik Diamond Mine is setting an impressive example for sustainability and renewable energy in northern Canada. With the construction of the largest solar power plant in the Canadian territories, the company is setting a strong example for the use of clean energy sources in mining.

The solar array will include over 6,600 solar panels and is expected to generate approximately 4,200 megawatt hours of carbon-free electricity for the mine annually. During work to close the mine by 2029, the plant will provide up to 25% of the electricity needs of the Diavik mine, which is expected to end commercial production in early 2026.

What makes this facility particularly remarkable are the bi-facial solar panels. These can not only convert direct sunlight into energy, but also use the light reflected from the snow-covered surface of the Diavik mine. This innovative approach will reduce on-site diesel consumption by around one million liters per year and reduce CO2 emissions by 2,900 tonnes – the equivalent of 630 cars.

Angela Bigg, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Diavik Diamond Mine, stressed the importance of this project: "I am pleased that we will significantly increase our renewable power generation with the largest solar array in Canada's Northern Territories at the Diavik Diamond Mine. Through its wind-diesel powered Hybrid power plant, Diavik is already at the forefront of renewable energy technology in cold climates, and this important project underscores our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint."

The solar plant will significantly expand the existing renewable energy generation at the Diavik mine, which already has a 55.4 MW wind-diesel hybrid power plant and provides on-site power supply.

The project is supported by CA$3.3 million from the Northwest Territories government's Large Emitters GHG Reducing Investment Grant program and CA$600,000 from the Canadian government's Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit.

Northwest Territories Treasury Secretary Caroline Wawzonek underscored the importance of this initiative: "The Diavik solar plant is a welcome sign of Rio Tinto's commitment to renewable energy and emissions reduction. The Government of the Northwest Territories is pleased to recognize the project through the Large Emitters GHG Supporting the Reducing Investment Grant program."

Construction is expected to begin in the coming weeks and the solar array is expected to be fully operational in the first half of 2024.

The Diavik Diamond Mine is working closely with the Northwest Territories government and community partners to determine how best to utilize renewable energy infrastructure for the region after closure.

Rio Tinto is driving decarbonization initiatives across its global operations with the goal of reducing its Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions across its operations by 2050.

The future is green for the Diavik Diamond Mine, setting an inspiring benchmark for environmentally conscious mining and sustainable development.

Note: This blog post was created from a translation of the original article. The original article source can be found here: RioTino -


Image source: Cobyright - Aerial view of Diavik diamond mine. ( Image courtesy of Dominion Diamond. )