Top 10 Canadian-based diamond companies – by Trish Saywell (Northern Miner – July 13, 2017)

Global mining news

Canada is the fifth-largest diamond producer in the world, according to the Mining Association of Canada. Last year two new diamond mines came into production: Gahcho Kué in the Northwest Territories and Renard in Quebec. Here are the top 10 Canadian-headquartered diamond companies by market capitalization, as of early July.

1. DOMINION DIAMOND: Market Capitalization of $1.01 billion

Dominion Diamond (TSX: DDC; NYSE: DDC) is Canada’s largest diamond producer and the world’s third-largest diamond miner after De Beers and Alrosa. Dominion operates the Ekati mine, in which it owns a controlling interest, and owns 40% of the Diavik mine. Both mines are about 300 km from Yellowknife and 200 km south of the Arctic Circle in the Lac de Gras region of the Northwest Territories. Ekati officially began production in October 1998 and Diavik in January 2003.

Dominion also owns a 55% stake in the Lac de Gras joint-venture with North Arrow Minerals (TSXV: NAR), which holds the remaining 45% interest. The joint-venture property adjoins the mineral leases that host the Diavik mine, 10 km to the north, and the Ekati mine, less than 40 km to the northwest. Dominion also has sorting and selling operations in Canada, Belgium and India.

In an agreement with Archon Minerals (TSXV: ACS) in June, Dominion raised its ownership stake in the Buffer zone at the Ekati diamond mine to 100%. Of the 150 kimberlite pipes discovered at Ekati, 38 are in the Buffer zone, including Jay, a large, high-grade kimberlite that was approved for mine construction in July 2016.

The Jay kimberlite is described as the most significant undeveloped deposit at Ekati and will extend Ekati’s mine life by 10 years to 2033. Jay is beneath Lac du Sauvage, a moderate-sized lake north of Lac de Gras, 30 km to the southeast of the main Ekati mine infrastructure. The Buffer zone also contains the Lynx kimberlite pipe, which started commercial production in April 2017. Lynx is about 3 km to the southwest of the Misery pipe.

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