Diamonds / Industry

Diavik Mine to Be Powered by Solar Plant


Rio Tinto is building the largest solar power plant in Canada’s Northwest Territories, to provide carbon-free power for the final years of the Diavik diamond mine (pictured).

The plant is expected to be fully operational by the first half of 2024.

Diavik’s commercial production is expected to cease in early 2026. The solar plant will provide up to 25% of Diavik’s electricity during the mine-closing process, which will run until 2029.

The new solar plant has over 6,600 solar panels, which will generate approximately 4,200 MWh (megawatt hours) of carbon-free electricity for the mine annually. The facility will be equipped with bifacial panels that will generate energy both from direct sunlight and from the light that reflects off the snow that covers Diavik most of the year.

The new plant will cut diesel consumption at the site by approximately one million liters per year and reduce CO2 emissions by 2,900 tons—equivalent to eliminating the emissions of 630 cars.

The project is supported by CA$3.3 million (about $2.4 million) in funding from the Government of the Northwest Territories’ Large Emitters GHG Reducing Investment Grant program, and CA$600,000 (about $451,000) from the Government of Canada’s Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit.

Diavik already has  a wind-diesel hybrid power facility that supplies some of the site’s electricity.

Rio Tinto became sole owner of the mine in 2021. Earlier this year, it approved a $40 million investment to begin underground mining at the mine, which will extend its life to 2026.

Photo courtesy of Rio Tinto Diamonds

Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine

By: Rob Bates

Log Out

Are you sure you want to log out?

CancelLog out