Lisa Wright is a business reporter with the Toronto Star, which has the largest circulation in Canada. The paper has an enormous impact on Canada’s federal and provincial politics as well as shaping public opinion. This article was originally published April 23, 2011.
These women know the drill in a quest for a girl’s best friend
It was the little Canadian diamond mine that could – then fell off the rails.
Hopes were high for the Jericho mine when it started cranking out carats five years ago in Nunavut, 420 km northeast of Yellowknife. But operational setbacks, the strong loonie, skyrocketing oil prices and sinking rough diamond prices all took their toll. Former owner Tahera Diamond Corp. went into bankruptcy protection and was forced to mothball it less than two years into production.
But the daughter of a Canadian mining icon and a very determined geologist hope to breathe new life into this former gem after purchasing the shuttered property last year with a goal of reopening it as early as next year.
“Ultimately we bought Jericho with a view that it wasn’t irreparably broken, but there is a lot of work to do to get it to where we want it,” says Julie Lassonde, executive chairman of the mine’s new owner Shear Diamonds Ltd.