People hero image
People hero image

Our people

Supporting workers and strengthening local economies

DPA Members employ large workforces in safe, highly qualified, high paying jobs. The large majority of these workers come from the region or community in which the operation is located, which in turns leads to the creation of healthy local economies.

Our impact

DPA members employ over


employees and contractors. They substantially invest in fair employment, workplace health and safety, diversity, career development, training and apprenticeship programs that build valuable, transferable skills for employees in communities around the world.

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Our key focus areas

Diamond mining involves operating large pieces of equipment and dealing with geological risks. This is why DPA Members put the safety and wellbeing of their employees and contractors ahead of any other consideration.

Keeping employees safe is a never-ending journey and the responsibility of everyone on site. It requires a strong safety culture in which no shortcuts or compromises are acceptable if they could result in an injury. It also requires following strict rules and processes, wearing the appropriate protective equipment, analyzing every task for its safety risk before performing it and continuously training teams to employ safe behaviors.

Creating a strong safety culture in which “safety comes first” is a prerequisite to implementing effective safety programs and initiatives which will lead to tangible results. Effective programs can generate spectacular results:

  • ALROSA invested over US$18 million on industrial health and safety initiatives in 2016 alone. Their strong focus on workplace safety has led ALROSA’s injury rate to fall 20% since 2012.
  • Petra Diamond’s Occupational Health and Safety initiative has led to an 82% improvement in rates of lost-time injury over the seven years to 2018.
  • Rio Tinto’s critical risk management program has led to a 35% improvement in the injury rates across its sites worldwide between 2013 and 2017.

DPA Members offer attractive training and employment opportunities as they require a highly trained and skilled workforce—employing engineers, programmers, haul truck drivers, mechanics, environmental scientists and support staff, to name a few. Members also invest in their employees to build a skilled workforce with practical and transferrable skills that extend beyond mining operations.

In 2016, employees and permanent contractors received a total of US$3.9 billion in direct and indirect benefits from the payment of wages and other benefits. Wages paid by DPA Members are highly competitive due to the large number of skilled roles and the remoteness of some operations.

On average they are 66% higher than the national average salary and five times the living wage in the countries of operation.

DPA Members recognize the many benefits of a diverse workforce and aim whenever possible to employ members of local communities. More than half of all employees at the Ekati mine are Indigenous and 94% of employees at ALROSA’s operations in Siberia are residents of Yakutia. In Botswana, 98% of Lucara’s workforce is Botswanan; 84% of De Beers Group employees in South Africa are from historically disadvantaged groups.

Efforts to increase diversity also include programs to increase mentorship and leadership opportunities for women. Significant progress toward increasing the representation of women across all levels of the workforce has already been made as a result of our Members’ programs.

  • At the Ekati Diamond Mine, 69% of women are employed in traditionally male-dominated roles such as apprentice carpenters, crane operators, machinists, millwrights, plumbers and technicians.
  • 40% of businesses taking part in De Beers Group’s Tokafala Enterprise Development Initiatives are women-owned or co-owned. The program helps people in communities near its operations in Botswana start or grow their business.
  • Petra’s Women in Mining (WIM) Committee provides a platform for women at Petra’s South African operations to share experiences, identify challenges in the workplace and promote development opportunities.
  • Rio Tinto has helped to support the development of an all-women diamond cutting and polishing factory in Ahmedabad, in the western state of Gujarat, India. The three-month training program provides women with the opportunity to double their income as they move out of jobs in lower paying industries.

Building and operating a diamond mine over several decades in often remote regions of the world requires making long-term commitments to local communities in education, skills development and employment. A successful mining operation is always the result of strong mutually beneficial partnerships with local communities. This is why DPA Members work with local communities and governments to maximize employment from local populations.

As Members shape professional workforces with a long-term view in mind, they invest significantly in career development, training and apprenticeship programs, and in building transferable skills for employees and local community members. It is not unusual to see several generations of the same family working at the same site.