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Posts tagged ‘Dominion Diamond Corp (DDC)’

A change of plans for Ekati

September 11th, 2015

It’s a delay for Jay as Dominion Diamond brings the Sable kimberlite forward

by Greg Klein

Its interests in two Northwest Territories mines make Dominion Diamond TSX:DDC the world’s third-largest rough producer by value. With Diavik’s demise expected in 2023, the company hoped to add 11 years to Ekati’s lifespan by bringing the Jay kimberlite into production. But now a change in plans defers Jay for another year to focus on the Sable pipe, which had a preliminary economic assessment announced September 10. This PEA, apparently, trumps Jay’s pre-feasibility, which as recently as January foresaw that kimberlite as a standalone operation.

Fully permitted, Sable has construction planned to begin as soon as the ice road opens, with kimberlite mining and processing projected to begin by 2019. Should Jay’s permits come through, Dominion hopes to begin its construction in H2 next year, but now adding a third year to the building timeline.

It’s a delay for Jay as Dominion Diamond brings the Sable pipe forward

Sable’s addition makes little difference to Ekati’s lifespan, however. Jay was expected to last until 2030 at least. But Sable and Jay combined could keep the mine’s processing plant working at full capacity until 2033, even with Sable quitting operations in 2027. Although lacking a reserve estimate, the pipe shows indicated resources of 15.4 million tonnes averaging 0.8 carats per tonne for 11.7 million carats. The inferred category has another 300,000 carats.

Sable lies 17 kilometres northwest of Ekati’s existing infrastructure, within the mine’s Core zone joint venture where Dominion holds an 88.9% stake. The zone includes the Koala kimberlite, where underground mining takes place, Misery, which undergoes open pit expansion, Pigeon, another open pit undergoing pre-stripping, and Fox, a previously mined pipe with a remaining stockpile.

Dominion holds 65.3% of Ekati’s Buffer zone, which hosts Jay and the unmined Lynx kimberlite. Archon Minerals TSXV:ACS owns Buffer’s remainder.

Even with Jay’s construction spread out over three years instead of two, Dominion sees synergies with Sable. “The projects are very complementary,” COO Chantal Lavoie told a September 11 conference call. They would “keep our production balanced with higher-value, higher-grade deposits, they will give us blending flexibility in the process plant and they will share the same mining fleet built around 240-tonne haul trucks.”

Using a 7% discount rate, Sable’s PEA projects a post-tax net present value of $233 million (all dollar figures American, except where noted) and a 17.3% post-tax internal rate of return. Those figures assume Sable fetching an average $190 per carat (last year’s global average was $116.17) and a U.S. dollar costing $1.25 in Canuck bucks.

Initial capex would call for $147.4 million.

The PEA evaluated Sable “as an incremental development opportunity” that includes Jay. “The NPV calculation represents the company’s share of the incremental NPV,” Dominion added.

Although Sable nears construction, the company has the pipe’s pre-feas underway. A possible economic enhancement might come from improved diamond liberation achieved at Ekati’s plant in July. Feasibility studies for Jay continue.

As for Diavik, a JV with 60% partner Rio Tinto NYE:RIO, Dominion expects its doom to be “done by 2023,” CEO Brendan Bell told the conference. “I think it’s been well explored. We’re not expecting any new work or new discoveries on the Diavik property.”

But elsewhere in the NWT? “We firmly believe there are more mines to be found in this jurisdiction and we’ll be focusing on that going forward.”

Birks unveils the “largest diamond ever mined in Canada”

September 10th, 2015

by Greg Klein | September 10, 2015

Among the debuts at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival was the largest diamond found in Canada so far, according to Birks. As a sponsor of the festival, the jeweller used the event to present its North Star stone on January 9. Mounted on a platinum ring, the 15.1-carat round brilliant comes with a $3.69-million price tag.

Birks unveils the biggest diamond ever mined in Canada

Birks unveils the biggest diamond ever mined in Canada

Birks transformed a 55.07-carat rough stone from
Diavik into a 15.1-carat, $3.69-million diamond ring.
(Images: Birks)

The sumptuous stone came to surface seven months ago as a 55.07-carat rough from Diavik, the Rio Tinto NYE:RIO/Dominion Diamond TSX:DDC 60/40 joint venture in the Northwest Territories’ Lac de Gras region. From there it went to Antwerp for cutting and polishing before being mounted in Birks’ Montreal atelier.

The jeweller classified the North Star as “D colour grade, SI2 clarity (slightly included) and excellent cut grade, as certified by the GIA [Gemological Institute of America]. Its polish and symmetry are excellent.”

The size is unusual for Canada, which doesn’t produce particularly large stones. But their quality brings high prices. Last year’s average of $166.78 per carat for Canadian rough compared with the global average of $116.17. The NWT places third internationally for diamond production by value.

Birks gets all its diamonds from Canadian mines. The company “has been committed to sourcing and providing its customers with Canadian diamonds exclusively, which have the unique attribute of being traceable back to their mine of origin, guaranteeing their provenance and ethical nature.”

Following the North Star’s Toronto debut, Birks will display the ring at its various stores in Canada and the U.S. “until it finds an owner.”

Update: Birks seems to be mistaken about Canada’s largest diamond.

Looking to Lac de Gras

August 27th, 2015

World diamond production drops but Canadians compete to make up the shortfall

by Greg Klein

An almost 4% increase in global diamond production by value last year coincided with an almost 4% drop in volume. Numbers released August 25 by the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme indicate higher prices kept revenue growing despite lower output. But, should December’s optimistic forecasts hold, demand will call for new sources. Among the most promising locations is Canada, which the Kimberley Process says held its third place spot for global production by value even as Russia pushed Botswana into second place. In fact Canada owes its status to just one region of the Northwest Territories, Lac de Gras, which hosts three current mines, a soon-to-be fourth and an encouraging exploration play.

The region’s most recent entry is Zimtu Capital TSXV:ZC, which on August 25 announced exploration had begun on the Munn Lake project held by the company and a staking partner. Despite about $5.7 million of work between 1996 and 2007 that found two diamondiferous kimberlites, the 14,000-hectare property has yet to undergo modern exploration.

World diamond production drops but Canadians compete to make up the shortfall

Of four kimberlites under its focus, Kennady Diamonds plans a
2015 maiden resource for Kelvin, further infill drilling for Faraday
1 and 2, and exploration at MZ.

Yet a previous 581-kilogram sample from the project’s Yuryi kimberlite showed 226 diamonds, among them 62 macro-diamonds above 0.5 millimetres in diameter. A 42-kilo sample from the Munn Lake kimberlite yielded two macros and 12 micro-diamonds. Over 2,500 samples revealed at least five distinct kimberlite indicator mineral (KIM) trains lining the property.

Zimtu now has a crew sampling KIMs to validate historic sampling and “provide additional insight into the diamondiferous potential of each area.”

Earlier this month Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD announced plans to explore its 54,000-hectare T-Rex property in Lac de Gras. Historic work found over a dozen kimberlites, most of them diamondiferous, the company stated. Historic, non-43-101 results of a 436-kilo bulk sample from the Jack Pine kimberlite reported 572 micro-diamonds.

Another 299 micro-diamonds turned up in 360 kilos of Jack Pine kimberlite drilled in 2005, according to 43-101-compliant results.

Last June Arctic Star reported an update from North Arrow Minerals TSXV:NAR on Redemption, their Lac de Gras joint venture. Initial interpretation of ground geophysics indicates a number of targets for a potential 2016 winter drill program, Arctic Star stated. Its partner also has the property’s surficial geology under analysis to better define and interpret the region’s South Coppermine KIM train.

With about 97,220 hectares of Lac de Gras turf, Canterra Minerals TSXV:CTM said in June it’s identified several areas “that warrant further detailed exploration, including drilling,” along with other areas that could undergo till sampling and geophysics.

Last month Margaret Lake Diamonds TSXV:DIA announced an agreement, subject to TSXV approval, to acquire the remaining 40% interest in the Margaret Lake property, giving the company sole ownership. The company anticipates a winter drill program to test targets identified by last year’s airborne gravity survey. The 19,716-hectare property lies contiguous to the north and west of Kennady Diamonds’ (TSXV:KDI) Kennady North project, the region’s most advanced project other than the Gahcho Kué mine-to-be, which Kennady surrounds on three sides.

With four kimberlites under assessment at the 61,000-hectare property, Kennady reported results of a 443-tonne bulk sample from the Kelvin pipe on August 26. Of 16,247 diamonds recovered from four zones of Kelvin’s “more diluted” southeast lobe, 35 weighed over one carat. The zones averaged 2.02 carats per tonne for diamonds larger than 0.85 millimetres.

The lab described the five largest as follows:

  • 4.22-carat white/colourless, transparent macle with no inclusions

  • 3.95-carat brown, transparent aggregate with inclusions

  • 2.79-carat light brown, transparent aggregate with minor inclusions

  • 2.63-carat white/colourless, transparent octahedral with inclusions

  • 2.59-carat white/colourless, transparent dodecahedron with no inclusions

The project’s winter agenda calls for another bulk sample from Kelvin’s north lobe, where a 19-tonne mini-bulk sample last year averaged 2.59 carats per tonne. Kennady has Kelvin slated for a maiden resource by year-end. The company also has exploration drilling underway at the project’s MZ kimberlite and further infill drilling planned for the Faraday 1 and 2 pipes.

Kennady closed a $4-million private placement earlier this month.

 

In operation or under development: Canada’s diamond mines

Canada’s in the forefront of countries trying to make up the diamond supply shortfall, with new mines coming online as others face depletion. Besides the NWT’s three operations and De Beers’ Victor mine in Ontario, two others are in development.

Of the three Lac de Gras mines, Dominion Diamond’s (TSX:DDC) majority-held Ekati has about five years left to its life expectancy, although development of the Jay deposit could potentially add another 11 years.

Diavik, a Rio Tinto NYE:RIO/Dominion 60/40 JV, would last to 2023 with the addition of a fourth pipe.

De Beers’ Snap Lake could last to 2028, although with declining output. In March the global giant said an amended water licence might be necessary to avert a much earlier shutdown. In June the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board recommended the NWT government approve the application.

Ontario’s only diamond mine, De Beers’ Victor, faces depletion in 2018. The company hopes to postpone its doom by developing the Tango kimberlite, a smaller, lower-grade deposit seven kilometres northwest.

World diamond production drops but Canadians compete to make up the shortfall

On schedule for H2 2016 production, Gahcho Kué would
become “the world’s largest and richest new diamond mine,”
according to Mountain Province.

Now building Quebec’s first diamond mine, Stornoway Diamond TSX:SWY has operations scheduled to begin at Renard late next year and commercial production slated for Q2 2017. Although potential resource expansion continues, the company estimates Renard would supply 1.6 million carats annually for 11 years, providing about 2% of global supply.

A fourth Lac de Gras operation, destined to become “the world’s largest and richest new diamond mine,” remains on track for H2 2016 production. Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPV and joint venture partner De Beers expect Gahcho Kué to produce an annual average 4.5 million carats over a dozen years.

In Saskatchewan’s Fort à la Corne region, Shore Gold’s (TSX:SGF) majority-held Star-Orion South underwent a spring drill program to update the Orion South kimberlite’s resource. Although the project reached feasibility in 2011 and passed a federal environmental review in December, Shore now plans a revised feasibility to reduce capex.

In addition to regions around existing and future mines, Nunavut and Saskatchewan’s Pikoo region also draw significant diamond exploration.

Disclaimer: Zimtu Capital Corp is a client of OnPage Media Corp, the publisher of ResourceClips.com. The principals of OnPage Media may hold shares in Zimtu Capital.

New theory adds salt and water to diamond formation recipe

August 19th, 2015

by Greg Klein | August 19, 2015

Happening as it does deep within the Earth’s mantle, the process of creating diamonds has always been a bit murky. Laypeople understand the explanation has something to do with enormous pressure exerted on carbon. Hollywood once portrayed the process, perhaps just a tad simplistically, when it showed Superman producing a diamond by squeezing a lump of coal in his hand. But a paper published by the academic journal Nature on August 19 suggests ancient seawater played a key role, at least in the diamonds of the Northwest Territories’ Slave Craton.

New theory adds salt and water to diamond formation recipe

While polished diamonds are coveted for their beauty,
some rejects offer clues about the gems’ genesis.

A team of scientists examined 11 stones from the Fox kimberlite at Dominion Diamond’s (TSX:DDC) majority-held Ekati mine and compared them with others from Ekati’s now-depleted Panda kimberlite and the Dominion/Rio Tinto NYE:RIO Diavik mine. The diamonds were rejects, partly because of their puny size and prominent inclusions, or impurities. But those inclusions revealed something of value to researchers—“a variety of fluid compositions plus inclusions of their host rocks … which shows a strong association between fluid composition and mantle host lithology.”

CBC’s Emily Chung translated the boffin-speak: “What they found was very high concentrations of sodium and chlorine—the main components of the salt dissolved in seawater. And when they looked at the pattern of the kinds of strontium in the sample, it was ‘very similar to dissolved strontium in ancient seawater several hundred million years ago,’ [geochemist Graham] Pearson said.

“The researchers couldn’t come up with any other explanation for all the salt, he added. ‘There’s nowhere really in the deepest parts of the earth that are obvious sources of all that sodium and chlorine.’

“That led the researchers to conclude that the source of the fluid was ancient seawater pushed under the Northwest Territories with nearby tectonic plates … The seawater would have interacted with carbon-containing rocks to generate diamonds.”

More importantly, the findings offer “another key element in the picture of how water is cycled and carbon is cycled in the Earth,” Chung quoted Pearson. “This is really more evidence of recycling of fluid of water within the Earth.”

Read an academic précis of the scientists’ report in Nature, or thank the CBC for Chung’s English translation.

Arctic Star looks to T-Rex for Lac de Gras diamonds

August 5th, 2015

by Greg Klein | August 5, 2015

A 54,000-hectare property in the Northwest Territories’ diamond-rich Lac de Gras region has come under renewed attention by Arctic Star Exploration TSXV:ADD. After reviewing previous work on the T-Rex project, the company announced on August 5 it plans further exploration itself.

Arctic Star looks to T-Rex for Lac de Gras diamonds

Production at Ekati’s Jay pipe would likely ensure winter road
access within 10 kilometres southwest of Arctic Star’s T-Rex project.
Image: Tibbitt to Contwoyto Winter Road JV

Details of the plans weren’t divulged. But Arctic Star stated it “has verified through research and compilation that the property hosts over a dozen kimberlites, most of them diamondiferous.”

The company’s staked ground overlaps the Hardy Lake property explored by De Beers between 1992 and 2003 and by Majescor Resources TSXV:MJX for another five years under option. The latter company “reported 26 high-interest areas defined by anomalous kimberlite indicator mineral samples and kimberlite float,” according to Arctic Star. In 2005 Majescor stated that “large, very prospective sectors [of Hardy Lake] have been inadequately sampled.”

De Beers collected 2,335 till samples, with 1,000 showing kimberlite indicator minerals on Hardy Lake. The global giant analysed 29,123 minerals and put Hardy Lake through 16,709 line-kilometres of geophysics, 144 geophysical grids and 137 drill holes, according to Arctic Star. The company stated it acquired about 65% of De Beers’ data that was filed as assessment work and “forms a strong basis for future exploration.”

Costs would benefit from the site’s proximity to the Tibbitt-to-Contwoyto winter road, which is “expected to be ploughed as far as the Jay kimberlite for decades to come,” Arctic Star stated. The route links Dominion Diamond’s (TSX:DDC) majority-held Ekati mine with Yellowknife, 400 kilometres south by road.

Currently undergoing permitting, Jay could potentially add 11 years to Ekati, extending its lifespan to 2031. Dominion hopes to begin Jay’s construction next year.

Lac de Gras also hosts two other diamond mines, Rio Tinto NYE:RIO/Dominion’s 60/40 Diavik and De Beers’ Snap Lake. Combined, the three operations place the NWT third globally for diamond production by value.

De Beers and Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPV expect to add a fourth Lac de Gras operation by H2 2016 with Gahcho Kué, considered the world’s richest diamond development project.

In June Arctic Star reported preliminary geophysical and surficial geology evaluations from its Redemption project, also in Lac de Gras. With work carried out by 55% earn-in partner North Arrow Minerals TSXV:NAR, the results will be used to define targets for a spring 2016 drill program, the companies stated.

The drama of discovery

July 17th, 2015

Not without excitement, the quest continues for Canadian diamonds

by Greg Klein

Calling it an “exceptionally rare” occurrence, Kennady Diamonds TSXV:KDI geologists spotted a macro diamond while logging drill core from the Faraday 2 kimberlite on July 15. It was the second such find in a year for the Kennady North project and probably rendered less than momentous by foreknowledge that the pipe did in fact contain diamonds. Even so, the event brings to mind a dramatic moment in Canadian diamond history.

The scene also took place in the Northwest Territories’ Lac de Gras region, but during late winter 1994. As recounted in Matthew Hart’s Diamond: The History of a Cold-Blooded Love Affair, 24-year-old Eira Thomas ran the project for Aber Resources while her father, Gren Thomas, conducted merger negotiations down south. Eira feared the deal would close at a disadvantage to Aber despite lab recovery of micro diamonds from the property’s A-21 kimberlite.

Not without excitement, the quest continues for Canadian diamonds

Standing up to disagreement from a partner as big as Rio Tinto NYE:RIO, the young geo thought she was on the brink of a more substantial discovery with the A-154 target. Even as lake ice began thawing, Thomas not only persuaded the crew to continue barge-based drilling but cajoled them into working a heavier, larger-diameter rig. Just as weakening ice finally forced the drillers to quit, Aber geologist Robin Hopkins found kimberlite studded with indicator minerals. Summoned by phone calls, Aber and Rio staff descended on the camp.

As they gathered in the core tent, Hopkins spotted something protruding from a piece of core. Hart writes:

Hopkins tried to scratch the crystal with his thumbnail, and couldn’t. When he looked up, he saw that Thomas was raptly watching him. “No way,” he breathed. He passed the core with the crystal embedded in it to Buddy Doyle of Rio Tinto. Doyle stared at it. “No fucking way,” he said, and handed it on to Thomas. She took the core in her hands and gazed at it, a two-carat diamond bouncing light from its crystal face.

That dramatic moment presaged Diavik, Canada’s second diamond mine and successor to Ekati, itself the result of Chuck Fipke’s adventurous spirit as well as geological acumen. Now, with three Lac de Gras mines in operation, the NWT ranks third globally for diamond production by value.

Yet the lifespan of Ekati, majority-owned by Dominion Diamond TSX:DDC, ends in 2020. The mine’s Jay deposit could potentially extend the expiry date to 2031, according to the company. Diavik, held 60/40 by Rio and Dominion, would last to 2023, even with the addition of a fourth pipe, the A-21 that Thomas discovered before A-154.

Snap Lake, De Beers’ first mine outside Africa, could continue operating until 2028, albeit with declining output. Earlier this year the company warned a much earlier shutdown might occur if an amended water licence wasn’t approved. Last month the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board recommended the territorial government grant approval for a plan to flush a higher proportion of dissolved solids into water that’s discharged into the lake.

De Beers also produces Canadian diamonds at its Victor mine in Ontario’s James Bay lowlands. The discovery actually dates back to 1987, about five years before Fipke’s historic find. But the Ontario mine didn’t open until 2008.

As those four mines mature, Stornoway Diamond TSX:SWY plans to pick up some of the slack with its Renard project in Quebec’s James Bay region. With commercial production slated for Q2 2017, Renard would give up 1.6 million carats annually for 11 years, about 2% of global supply, the company estimates.

Back at Lac de Gras, the world’s richest diamond development project continues to progress. Last week Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPV announced construction at Gahcho Kué was 62% complete and on schedule for H2 2016 operation. Also headed by Kennady president/CEO Patrick Evans, Mountain Province holds a 49% stake in the project, which is operated by JV partner De Beers. It’s expected to produce an average 4.5 million carats a year over a 12-year life.

Not surprisingly, Lac de Gras hosts a busy exploration play. Gahcho Kué’s next-door neighbour Kennady North remains the most advanced. On July 15, the same day the Faraday 2 stone lit up Kennady’s core shack, the company reported lab recovery results from Faraday 2’s spring drill program. About 930 kilograms of kimberlite returned a sample grade of 1.93 carats per tonne for diamonds of commercial size.

Of 247 individual diamonds described by the lab, 37% were transparent and white/colourless, while 56% were off-white. With 97% of the sample showing transparent white or off-white gems, the results could “have a positive impact on diamond values,” Evans stated.

The company expects recovery results from Kelvin’s 436-tonne bulk sample by the end of Q3. Results from a 2.6-tonne sample of Kelvin South Lobe kimberlite should arrive in early September.

Saskatchewan, meanwhile, hosts a more advanced diamond project in Shore Gold’s (TSX:SGF) majority-held Star-Orion South. Although it passed a federal environmental review in December, the company now seeks to cut pre-production capex through a revised mine plan and feasibility study.

Kennady finds macro diamond while logging Faraday 2 kimberlite core

July 16th, 2015

This story has been moved here.

Seven big miners form global Diamond Producers Association

May 27th, 2015

by Greg Klein | May 27, 2015

There was a time when De Beers was, to a large extent, the world’s diamond mining association. That was back when De Beers was, to a large extent, the world’s diamond mining industry. Those days are gone and now the company, still a global heavyweight, has partnered with six others to create the Diamond Producers Association.

ALROSA, De Beers, Rio Tinto NYE:RIO, Dominion Diamond TSX:DDC, Lucara Diamond TSX:LUC, Petra Diamonds and Gem Diamonds “will work together to support the development of the diamond sector,” the septet announced May 27. The organization described its mandate as:

Seven big miners form global Diamond Producers Association

  • maintaining and enhancing consumer demand for and confidence in diamonds including joint category marketing initiatives

  • providing a reliable source of industry information, including trade and consumer research

  • acting as the unified voice of the diamond producers, when required and/or appropriate, with industry and non-industry forums/organizations

  • communicating the role and contribution of diamond producers to the diamond sector and broader society

  • sharing best practices in health and safety, licence to operate, supply chain integrity and environment management

Word on exactly how the DPA will carry out those endeavours and with what emphasis will likely wait until the organization begins operations under a still-to-be-hired executive director. The companies chipped in an annual budget of US$6 million.

Read about diamond supply and demand.

Read about diamond mining in Canada.

World diamond capital forges closer ties with Canada

May 8th, 2015

by Greg Klein | May 8, 2015

Last week’s visit by representatives of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre bodes well for an even closer relationship with the world’s third-largest rough producer by value, the organization announced May 8. Among the mission’s other findings were “strong indications” that Stornoway Diamond TSX:SWY “is considering to commercialize its entire production” from the Renard mine, expected to begin production in H2 2017, through the Belgian city. Renard’s projected output of 1.6 million carats a year worth $304 million could mean a 64% increase in Canadian rough on the Antwerp market, the world’s most important diamond trade hub.

De Beers channels its Canadian-extracted gems through the vertically integrated company’s operations in Gaborone, Botswana.

While Canada is already one of the largest diamond mining countries in the world, trailing only Botswana and Russia, the country still has tremendous untapped potential.—Antwerp World Diamond Centre

“Throughout our conversations with the Canadians it was very striking all of them praised Antwerp as a reliable and highly transparent trade partner,” said Antwerp province governor Cathy Berx, following meetings in Montreal, Toronto and Yellowknife. “We clearly share the same values, such as transparency, the importance of correct controls and corporate social responsibility. These shared values can only further strengthen our good relationships.”

Between 2012 and 2014 Canadian production jumped from 1.5 million carats to 3.6 million carats, with their value climbing from $2.5 billion to $3.8 billion, the AWDC stated. “While Canada is already one of the largest diamond mining countries in the world, trailing only Botswana and Russia, the country still has tremendous untapped potential.”

With diamond production concentrated in the Northwest Territories’ Lac de Gras region, Canada’s largest operation is Dominion Diamond’s (TSX:DDC) majority-held Ekati mine followed by Rio Tinto NYE:RIO/Dominion’s Diavik and De Beers’ Snap Lake. Gacho Kué, a De Beers/Mountain Province Diamonds TSX:MPV joint venture considered to be the world’s largest diamond development project, has production scheduled for H2 2016. De Beers also operates the Victor mine in northern Ontario. Renard will be Quebec’s first diamond mine.

Of global rough diamond supply, 84% currently passes through Antwerp, as does 50% of all polished diamonds, according to the AWDC.

Read about diamond supply and demand.

Read about diamond mining in Canada.

Diamonds lift Northwest Territories mining revenue

March 20th, 2015

by Greg Klein | March 20, 2015

Copper and tungsten value slipped but diamonds were enough to raise Northwest Territories’ mining revenues by 14% last year. Citing new federal government stats, the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines put the territory’s 2014 mining production at $1.886 billion, a $227-million increase over the previous year. The rise came from $1.561 billion in diamond revenue, a 15% jump over 2013.

That offset tungsten’s 2% decline to $84.71 million and copper’s 17% fall to $1.86 million.

Diamonds lift Northwest Territories mining revenue

The territory’s four operating mines include North American Tungsten’s (TSXV:NTC) CanTung operation and three diamond mines—Dominion Diamond’s (TSX:DDC) majority-held Ekati mine, the Dominion/Rio Tinto NYE:RIO Diavik joint venture and De Beers’ Snap Lake.

Even if De Beers’ Victor mine in Ontario were excluded, NWT diamond production would keep Canada in third place for global diamond production by value.

The Chamber of Mines also noted a 2% increase in Nunavut’s mining revenues, which came to $642 million last year. Gold accounted for $639 million, a 2% increase over 2013, while silver contributed $2.6 million, an 8% rise. Agnico Eagle TSX:AEM operates the Meadowbank mine, 300 kilometres west of Hudson Bay.

The data, from Natural Resources Canada, provided no figures for Nunavut’s other mine, Baffinland Iron Mines’ Mary River, which began iron ore production last September.

Read more about NWT mining.

Read about diamond mining in Canada.