Ekati Diamond Mine

Nahanni has worked closely with Ekati Diamond mine since 1998 to help build the mine and related infrastructure at the remote site in the NWT.


Ekati Diamond Mine


Nahanni has worked with BHP for over 12 years at their Ekati mine site on a number of projects from mine construction to maintenance.

Nahanni Construction started work on site at BHP Billiton’s Ekati mine site in 1998. In our 12 years working at Ekati we have worked a number of projects ranging in difficulty and budget with contracts from $5,000 all the way up to $1.8 Million. During our time at the mine site we have had a strong safety record and have built a reputation of being a contractor that works in all environments, at all times of day and night, to get difficult jobs done in a challenging, fast paced environment.

The Challenges

The Ekati mine site is 310 kilometres north-east of Yellowknife and most of the supplies for construction at the site are shipped via seasonal winter road. Nahanni worked with BHP to coordinate shipments on time and to put all the right supplies in place for a year-round construction operation. The site itself is subject to the extreme Northern climates that come with working in the Northwest Territories. Over 90% of Nahanni’s work was outside with winter temperatures dropping below the -55℃ and summer temperatures hovering as high as +30-55℃. There were also times where certain operations were temporarily shut down due to grizzly bears, wolves, and other wild life at the site, so construction schedules had to be adjusted accordingly to keep the project on time. To get the mine up to operating capacity on time certain projects that involved large concrete pours had to be completed in the harsh winter months.

How We Helped

During Nahanni’s time on site we have completed many projects, and most of our major projects have been lump sum (hard dollar) contracts all of which we have completed successfully on time and on budget. Some of our work included the first underground conveyor system in the NWT, from the bottom of the kimberlite pipe all the way to the mine surface. We also completed a 6 day 24 hour concrete pour where depths reached 7 feet and a total of 1100 m3 of concrete was poured. With so much work happening around the clock safety is a big concern and in order to ensure safe concrete operations Nahanni worked closely with Ekati Diamond Mines to develop a safe operating procedure for full-size concrete trucks in underground situations. During our time at the mine we have done all the ADHOC work for Ekati and have consistently delivered quality work in all seasons and temperatures. This has gained Nahanni the reputation as a contractor who goes above and beyond to get work done no matter the conditions or time constraints.

Interesting Facts
  • Nahanni completed the first underground conveyor in the NWT.
  • Nahanni has one of the top safety records on site.
  • Nahanni has done all of the ADHOC construction work on the Ekati site.
  • Two Nahanni employees are currently team members on the Ekati Emergency Response Team and are trained in underground rescue situations.