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November 07 Businessexcellence 143 There is also a strong commitment to local business. De Beers contracted with AMEC Americas Ltd. (AMEC) to perform the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) for the Snap Lake Project, and both are committed to maximizing the participation of local and regional Northwest Territories businesses for the provision of goods and services. By May 2007, over $775 million had been spent on contracts and purchase orders for the construction of the mine, over $509 million of which (66 percent) had been spent with NWT businesses. The proportion of the NWT expenditure committed to Aboriginal businesses or joint ventures, was over $341 million (67 percent). NWT-based companies interested in supplying goods or bidding on projects had to make sure they were on De Beers’ NWT Business Registry by completing a corporate profile. Competitive pricing was obtained from qualified bidders, based on a request for quotation (RFQ) or invitation to tender package, by invitation only. Unsolicited bids were not considered. All contractors selected were also expected to comply with De Beers’ reporting requirements for the purchase of NWT goods and services and the hiring of Aboriginal and NWT residents. Once land and water use permits were received, phase one of project development at Snap Lake was to dewater the underground mine and install power and ventilation systems. Modifications were made to the bulk sample plant and over 100 underground samples were processed. The new water treatment plant was installed and tested and operating procedures were put in place to ensure compliance with the water license. The mine engineering plan, process plant design and equipment selection were finalized for the construction phase, which began in early 2005, with the opening of the winter road (of which more later). The camp that housed 111 workers in early 2005 had to be expanded to accommodate 263 people for the first construction phase (it would eventually grow to house over 700 by the end of July 2006). It would have to have all the infrastructure and facilities of a 700 bed camp. De Beers Canada