Outside of the two new mines opening up in Canada — Stornoway Diamond’s Renard and De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds’ Gahcho Kué — there hasn’t been a lot to celebrate in the diamond world of late.
In Canada, De Beers flooded its Snap Lake mine in the Northwest Territories in January. The underground mine, which has never been profitable, had been put up for sale after being put on care and maintenance last April, but failed to find a buyer. The mine was the diamond giant’s first mine outside of Africa when it opened in 2008.
In Ontario, De Beers has put an expansion of its Victor mine on hold after failing to get the support of the nearby Attawapiskat First Nation to conduct a bulk sample at the Tango kimberlite. Production from the mine is slated to end in 2018, but De Beers is studying ways to delay closing Victor by processing lower-grade stockpiles or mining deeper into the pit. It’s also considering a sale of the asset.
Meanwhile, Dominion Diamond, Canada’s largest producer and the world’s third largest diamond miner, may fall out of Canadian hands. Dominion was approached by U.S.-based Washington Corps. in February, although a formal offer wasn’t received at the time.
The approach put Dominion in play, and in early May, the company reported that it had signed confidentiality agreements with interested parties including Washington Corps. In return for access to its data room.
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