The Northwest Territories' diamond potential has attracted three major international companies: Rio Tinto, DeBeers, and BHP Billiton. Since the opening of BHP's Ekati diamond mine in 1998, Rio Tinto and DeBeers have gone into production as well, at their Diavik and Snap Lake mines, respectively. Production from these mines has put the Northwest Territories on the map as the third-largest producer of diamonds in the world.
The vast mineral potential of the Northwest Territories was the primary attraction, proven by the high-quality diamonds profitability being mined there. Diamond mining has also allowed for the development of a diamond-cutting and polishing industry by international interests as well. The NWT, like Canada as a whole, offers a stable environment and infrastructure on which to build multibillion dollar projects.