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Solvest Inc. and TIC Complete Solar Construction and Installation at Rio Tinto’s Diavik Diamond Mine

Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation (TIC) and Solvest Inc., are both dedicated to Indigenous business partnership and a sustainable future in Canada’s North and have reached substantial completion of the construction of a 3.5 MW solar project at Rio Tinto’s Diavik Diamond Mine. TIC's CEO Paul Gruner states:

"TIC firmly believes a thriving economy needs strategic investments and collaborative partnerships. TIC will continue to build our renewable energy capacity and will also serve as an exemplary model of sustainable development for the NWT and Canada as a whole. This is particularly important in the North, where climate change impacts are more extreme. Further, by diversifying our revenue sources and supporting new and sustainable mine development, we will be better positioned for the transition as currently operating mines reach the end of their life.”  

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Ben Power, CEO & Co-founder of Solvest, commented:

“Solvest looks forward to continuing to deliver meaningful projects in the North that support sustainable development in mining and is inclusive of Indigenous participation, ownership and progresses Tlicho energy sovereignty.”


Rio Tinto’s Diavik Solar Project 
Solvest and TIC recently reached substantial completion of the construction of a 3.5 MW solar project at Tio Tinto’s Diavik Diamond Mine.  Construction of the solar project began in February with a 2-week delayed start due to the shortening winter road season, highlighting the increasing need to develop more sustainable energy systems for remote sites rather than relying 100% on the need to transport diesel fuel on winter roads or by air.  

The Diavik mine, 100% owned and operated by Rio Tinto, is Canada’s largest diamond producer and produces 3.5 to 4.5 million carats of rough diamonds per annum. Since mining began in 2003, Diavik has produced over 100 million carats of diamonds. Commercial production is expected to end in the first quarter of 2026. 

The solar project is expected to reduce diesel use by 1 million liters per year and reduce emissions by 2,900 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. The solar plant will provide up to 25% of Diavik’s electricity during closure work to 2029. Rio Tinto is progressing decarbonisation initiatives across its global operations, with the aim of reducing its Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and to achieve net zero across its operations by 2050. 

The construction of the solar plant took about 3 months with a total of 28 workers on 2-week rotations, including during extreme weather with strong winds and temperatures reaching -30C. TIC provided about 1/3 of the workforce – the first solar construction project for Tlicho citizens.   

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Other Projects 
TIC and Solvest are in the development stage for additional solar and battery projects on Tlicho lands as TIC works towards developing a portfolio of renewable power projects and creating energy sovereignty.   

 

About Solvest Inc. 
Solvest Inc. was founded in 2015 to help clients reduce their dependence on diesel power generation in remote regions by offering renewable energy solutions. Operating out of Whitehorse, YT, award-winning Solvest provides service across Canada, enabling their residential, commercial, mining, and First Nations clients to shift to more sustainable energies. Solvest’s services include solar and energy storage project development, design, procurement, construction, operations and maintenance and equipment leasing, including fostering collaborative partnerships with Indigenous partners and mining companies. 


About Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation (TIC)  
Tłı̨chǫ Investment Corporation (TIC) is the business arm of the Tłı̨chǫ Government formed in 2005, when the Band Councils of Behchokǫ̀, Gamètì, Wekweètì, and Whatì, as well as the Treaty 11 Council business interests were brought together under this single corporate umbrella. TIC’s purpose is to leverage the collective knowledge and strength of the Tłı̨chǫ Nation to offer a diverse range of quality services and be a leading Indigenous corporation with environmental and social governance guiding their business legacy as they pursue economic growth and partnerships. 

About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto  is a leading global mining group that focuses on finding, mining and processing the Earth's mineral resources. Rio Tinto is the second largest metals and mining corporation and has been operating in Canada for over 70 years.