The Queen of Diamonds Eira Thomas has turned her attention to gold – by Tryst Williams ( – July 13, 2014)

Eira’s father Gren, born in wartime Swansea, formed the Aber Diamond Corporation (after his home of Abertawe) to make his big diamond finds

A millionaire Welsh miner’s daughter dubbed “The Queen of Diamonds” after her exploration work with her father made Canada one of the gem capitals of the world has now set her sights on gold.

Eira Thomas, 45, the only woman who can wear diamonds she discovered herself, is now chief executive of Vancouver based Kaminak Gold.

The company has just released a preliminary assessment showing desirable “high-margin low-risk” economics for its Coffee gold mine project in Canada’s legendary Yukon gold fields.

The report, by JDS Energy and Mining, says gold at Coffee is near-surface and importantly not too expensive to extract.

A statement from Kaminak said: “Total gold production over the life of the mine is expected at 1.86m ounces at a grade of 1.23 grams per tonne of gold, yielding operating cash flow of US $1.24bn and gross revenue of US $2.4bn.

Speaking in Canada, Thomas said: “There is this view, or misnomer, that if you’re anywhere but southern Ontario in Canada, your costs are going to be very high, particularly in the North.

“But we’ve been able to demonstrate with our study that is not necessarily the case.”

She added: “The recently completed preliminary economic assessment at Coffee has delivered a high-value, high-margin, low-risk gold project in one of the world’s safest, pro-mining jurisdictions, Yukon Canada, and marks a significant milestone for our company.”

Speaking of the gold mine, in West Central Yukon, which is expected to have a 11-year lifetime, she said: “What underpins our strategy is that the deposits are completely open along strike and to depth.

“We opted not to start small and stretch the mine life out to fifteen or twenty years because we know we’re going to be adding resources sooner rather than later.”

Kaminak’s director of mine development Fred Lightner said $109m would need to be spent to build infrastructure to support the mine, including a 250km, all-season access road and a diesel power plant.

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