With approximately 165 million carats of diamonds still underground at the former Ekati diamond mine, its new owner, Burgundy Diamonds, is looking to extend the mine’s life by implementing a never-before tried method of kimberlite extraction.
“Not all of those (carats) will be recoverable. But even if we did get a big chunk of those carats, it potentially could extend the life of the asset for many, many years to come,” said Kim Truter, CEO of Burgundy Diamond Mines.
Considering the mine has the third largest endowment of diamonds on the planet, and is anticipated to become the seventh largest producer of diamonds in the world, Truter said finding new extraction techniques will be a strategic move in ensuring the longevity of the mine.
That method will involve a pilot project using underwater remote mining (URM) technology with an underwater remote vehicle to go beneath the surface of lakes and extract hard-to-reach kimberlite that might otherwise be cost prohibitive or difficult to obtain.
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