Burgundy Diamond Mines was recognized with an Environmental, Social & Governance award at the Mining and Exploration (MAX) Awards Gala, for its significant contribution and support during the 2023 wildfires in the Northwest Territories (NWT), alongside four other mining counterparts.
Burgundy’s value to protect through safe, responsible and effective operations, was demonstrated this past summer by the actions of Burgundy’s incident management team (IMT). The IMT came together to support wildfire evacuees in the NWT and showed determination in the face of adversity by employing their skillset and knowledge, to quickly step into action and explore options and efficient responses to prioritize the health and safety of NWT community members.
This included providing food and lodging options for Burgundy workforce members and their families displaced by the wildfires, as well as accommodations for emergency responders fighting the fires in the region. The team also assisted with wildfire emergency response expertise and health and wellness support for those impacted by mass evacuations in the NWT.
Overall, Burgundy donated a total of $45,000 in wildfire emergency relief and raised more than $14,000, from additional private and personal donations through its emergency response matching campaign. These fundraising efforts were made possible by generous donations from employees, contractors, suppliers, customers and investors, and provided financial assistance so that shelves didn’t go empty in the affected communities.
“I am very proud of the way our organization came together to support one another and Northern communities, in the face of such large-scale wildfires and unprecedented evacuations,” said Eric Ingle, Vice-President Corporate Development with Burgundy Diamond Mines, who attended the MAX Awards Gala. “Burgundy rallied in the face of adversity and showed that by working together as one team, we can come up with solutions that make a big impact in keeping our workforce and communities safe.”
Sheila Chernys, Head of Health, Safety, Environment and Communities with Burgundy Diamond Mines, was also recognized individually during the event for her leadership and dedication to safety, with a Worker’s Safety and Compensation Commission (WSCC) Safety Leadership Award.
A strong supporter of driving safety forward in the mining industry, Chernys’ work as a community safety liaison in the NWT has a significant impact and influence on northern safety culture.
Chernys is the acting Chair of the Northern Mine Health and Safety Forum and an active participant in the Mines Safety Round Table for the mining industry in Canada. She also helped organize the setup for the 2023 Northern Mine Rescue Competition, where Ekati Diamond Mine won first place overall in the Surface Mine Rescue Competition.
“I am honoured to be the first recipient of this award and to have the continued pleasure of working with such esteemed colleagues and industry leaders, to promote and advance excellence in safety for the mining industry in Canada,” said Chernys.
This is the second year the WSCC Safety Leadership Award has been in existence, and it is the first year the Northwest Territories and Nunavut Worker’s Safety and Compensation Commission has recognized an individual, instead of an organization or an employer.
The MAX Awards are held annually in Yellowknife and are co-sponsored by the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines and the Government of the Northwest Territories. The event is attended by government officials, Indigenous community leaders, Northern suppliers, community members, Impact Benefit Agreement partners and mining industry leaders, and recognizes the mines’ commitment to NWT residents and Northern communities, by celebrating and encouraging leadership and excellence in mining.