Canada Third in Diamond Production

January 14, 2004

Canada Third in Diamond Production

Canada has become the third largest producer of diamonds in the world behind Botswana and Russia, Statistics Canada reports.

"From 1998 to 2002, companies have mined about 13.8 million carats of these precious stones of pure carbon, collectively worth $2.8 billion," reports the Canadian govenment agency. "This is roughly equivalent to a 1.5-kilogram bag of ice each day for five years, with each bag worth $1.5 million."

That amounts to 15% of the world's supply of diamonds, says a Canadian Press report.

"Since 1991, when diamonds were discovered at Point Lake near Lac de Gras two diamond mines have begun production. A third is expected to be in production in 2005, and a fourth by 2006," the agency said. "Economic output in the Northwest Territories surged ahead 5.1 per cent in 2002, fuelled by the Ekati mine running at full capacity and by construction of the Diavik mine, which neared completion."

Diamond mining accounted for just over one-fifth of the gross domestic product in Canada's diamond region, the Northwest Territories.

During the first six months of 2003, Canada's trade in diamonds was worth just over $720 million, of which exports accounted for 81%, said Statistics Canada.

The agency's figures came from BHP Billiton Diamonds Inc., Diavik Diamond Mines Inc. and Aber Diamond Mines Ltd., which signed waivers allowing their statistics on production, employment, capital investment and trade to be published.

The Report also said that the value of production went from zero before 1998 to just over $800 million in 2002.

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