Diamond miner helping to set up Attawapiskat homes
DeBeers dedicates a project manager to work with the First Nation to get house sites ready
The company that operates a diamond mine near Attawapiskat is helping to set up new houses in the community.
The first three of 22 modular homes headed to Attawapiskat to ease a housing crisis arrived over the weekend. But, the lots still have to be prepared and structures have to be built on which to place the houses. Diamond mining giant DeBeers is lending a hand for those tasks.
DeBeers spokesperson Tom Ormsby said the job is similar to setting up the work camp at the company’s Victor mine, which is located 90 kilometres west of Attawapiskat.
"All of our construction camps arrived on the winter road, which is the exact same time of year," Ormsby said. "It's the only time to move it in. And at that time, speed was of the essence as well, because we want to ensure that we could get everything in [and] install the trailer units."
Ormsby said a project manager from DeBeers is working with a team from the First Nation to get the house sites ready.
"We've made available an experienced project manager who is reporting in to the community," Ormsby said. "[The project manager is] helping them with the scope of work that was put together and the strategy around how to receive these homes, prepare for their arrival and the installation of the homes so it can be done in a quick and efficient manner."
All 22 homes are supposed to travel to the community before the ice road season ends — usually sometime in March.