De Beers dreams of building the diamond mine of the future in Nunavut – by John Thompson (Nunatsiaq News – April 4, 2019)

De Beers Group envisions building a diamond mine on Baffin Island that’s relatively small, moveable and powered by clean energy. It may not even have a road running to it.

Tom Ormsby, De Beers Canada’s head of external and corporate affairs, offered the Nunavut Mining Symposium a glimpse of the company’s brainstorming during a talk on Wednesday, April 3.

In September 2018, De Beers acquired the Chidliak diamond property as part of its purchase of Peregrine Diamonds. The site is about 120 kilometres northeast of Iqaluit and about 200 kilometres south of Pangnirtung.

Ormsby said the company’s consideration of unconventional approaches to develop the property stems, in part, from past mistakes. In 2008, the company opened its Victor mine in northern Ontario. A little more than a decade later, the mine is shutting down.

Diamond miners hunt for kimberlite pipes—formations of igneous rock created by eruptions of magma long ago. The Victor mine sits atop one. There are 15 others known to contain diamonds on the same property, but the mine was only set up with development of the most promising one in mind.

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