Editorial: Diamonds a lodestar in Canadian mining firmament – by John Cumming (Northern Miner – April 23, 2014)

The Northern Miner, first published in 1915, during the Cobalt Silver Rush, is considered Canada’s leading authority on the mining industry. Editor John Cumming MSc (Geol) is one of the country’s most well respected mining journalists.  [email protected]

While much of the global mining industry has been limping along under sagging commodities prices and looming oversupply, one of the brightest spots has been the Canadian diamond-mining industry, which has weathered its wild, rocky youth and settled into its role as a reliable discoverer, developer and miner of top-quality diamonds.

It remains one of the most difficult, long-shot tasks in mining: finding and developing an economic diamond deposit. And it takes a special kind of investor to embrace diamond miners’ extreme risk–reward ratios and extra-long time horizons. But taking a look across Canada, we see all kinds of positive developments in the next generation of diamond companies and their assets.

This month Dominion Diamond — formerly Harry Winston Diamond — is heading into its second year as owner and operator of the prized Ekati open-pit and underground diamond mine in the Northwest Territories, picked up for US$553 million from BHP Billiton on April 10, 2013.

On a 100% basis, Ekati is home to 18.8 million carats in reserves in four pipes, plus an eye-popping 127 million carats in the measured and indicated category and 19 million carats in the inferred category, all in eight pipes.

The current reserves provide mill feed until 2019 (with 0.9 million carats due to be mined in fiscal 2015), but tapping into the resource base could add to the mine life well beyond that date, even into the 2030s if the Jay pipe is mined from underground.

Dominion is also returning to the marketing game, after having unloaded its downstream Harry Winston retail arm in recent years, with its plan to revive and expand the dormant “CanadaMark” that guarantees a diamond has been ethically mined in Canada.

Nearby at the rich Diavik underground diamond mine, Dominion and partner–operator Rio Tinto are reporting a reserve base of 46.8 million carats, plus another 20 million carats in all resource categories. The mine plan at Diavik foresees at least another decade of mining, with 6.1 million carats set for production in 2014.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://www.northernminer.com/news/editorial-diamonds-a-lodestar-in-canadian-mining-firmament/1003026695/

 

 

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