Three Canadian ventures may contribute up to 15% of world diamond
production within decades
Diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes were discovered in the Northwest Territories
of Canada in 1991 and the mining world took notice. If things go as planned,
Canadian diamonds could represent 10% to 15% of total world diamond production
by the early 2000s. Here's an update:
Dia Met/Broken Hill Proprietary
Dia Met/Broken Hill Proprietary is building its Ekati Diamond Mine. The
group plans to start producing from its Panda pipe in October at a rate
of 3.5 million carats a year at $130 per carat. The group will take 200-ton
bulk samples in early '98 from two more pipes, and four pipes discovered
in an exploration project last summer promise significant results. Analysts
estimate the group's contribute at about 3% of world production.
BHP was in marketing discussions with De Beers in late December. At press
time, there had been no announcement.
The Diavik Project, just below Dia Met/BHP's property on Lac de Gras
(Gras Lake), is next in line to start producing diamonds from four pipes,
possibly by 2002 if it can overcome the challenge of mining pipes located
under the lake. Estimates place its production at 2 million carats per year.
Resource modeling turned up samples valued between $60 and $63 per carat,
but indicated resources in one pipe was valued at $73 per carat.
De Beers/Mountain Province Mining
Monopros Ltd., a unit of De Beers, signed a joint venture in March 1997
with Mountain Province Mining Co. of Ontario, CA. The partners plan to assay
four kimberlite pipes on their Kennedy Lake property this month. Mountain
Province owns 50% of the claims forming its property and, at press time,
was working on a deal to acquire the remainder. The 5034 pipe, discovered
in 1995, contains about 20 million tons down to 1,155 feet, and another
pipe was discovered recently. The mine could go into production by 2002
- by Stacey King
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.