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Oregon couple names son after mine

Katie May
Northern News Services
Published Friday, June 13, 2008

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - After she watched the Ice Road Truckers deliver to Diavik Diamond Mines on the History Channel television series, Monica Nielsen made a special delivery of her own - a newborn son named Diavik.

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Monica and Daniel Nielsen of Coos Bay, Oregon, named their baby Diavik after seeing the mine moniker on the hit TV show Ice Road Truckers. - photo courtesy of Monica Nielsen

Monica and her husband of three years, Daniel, live in Coos Bay, Oregon, and they settled on the name for their first child when they saw the Diavik logo flash across the TV screen as part of the documentary-style show.

"My husband said 'wow! That's a cool name! If we have a boy we should name him that!' I agreed," she wrote in an e-mail to Yellowknifer. "We didn't want to find out what we were having and to tell you the truth I thought it was going to be a girl but I was very happy when it was a boy!"

Diavik Brent Nielsen was born April 2, weighing nine pounds, five ounces and measuring 21.5 inches long. Monica wrote that as soon as she held him in her arms and called him by name, she knew Diavik was the right choice.

"His birthstone is a diamond! So it feels like it was even more meant to be!" she wrote.

Monica, who is originally from Petersburg, Alaska, thought the name sounded Scandinavian and wrote to Diavik Diamond Mines last month to find out more about the name's meaning. Lee Barker, a geological consultant who supervised early exploration in the mine, responded to explain how he came up with the mine's name.

"I actually used all three references to dream it up, the Inuktituk use for place, short form for West Viking (Exploration company), and also because 'vik' is a bay in Icelandic, so the name would mean 'diamond bay' too because we knew that the kimberlite pipes were likely to occur under lakes or bays in the NWT," he wrote in an e-mail. Coincidentally, the mining company has recently changed its name to Rio Tinto - the name of the group that created Diavik Diamond Mines 12 years ago.

Diavik spokesperson Tom Hoefer said many companies under the Rio Tinto umbrella - which includes Alcan, Inc. and the Iron Ore Company of Canada - are making the same move.

"It's more costly for each of us to maintain our individual logos," Hoefer said.

The mine will lose its familiar diamond logo in favour of an official red Rio Tinto sign, but he said the mine will still be known as Diavik.