Diavik Diamond Mine

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Diavik Mine
Diavik Diamond Mine.jpg
Diavik mine in 2006
Diavik Mine is located in Canada
Diavik Mine
Diavik Mine
Location in Canada
Location Lac de Gras
Territory Northwest Territories
Country Canada
Coordinates 64°29′46″N 110°16′24″W / 64.49611°N 110.27333°W / 64.49611; -110.27333Coordinates: 64°29′46″N 110°16′24″W / 64.49611°N 110.27333°W / 64.49611; -110.27333
Products Diamonds
Opened 2003
Company Dominion Diamond Corporation and Diavik Diamond Mines Inc.
Website http://www.diavik.ca/
Diavik mine complex, 2013 image from Landsat 8

The Diavik Diamond Mine is a diamond mine in the North Slave Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada, about 300 kilometres (190 mi) north of Yellowknife.[1] It has become an important part of the regional economy, employing 700, grossing C$100 million in sales, and producing approximately 7.5 million carats (1,500 kg (3,300 lb)) of diamonds annually.[2] The area was surveyed in 1992 and construction began in 2001, with production commencing in January 2003. It is connected by an ice road and Diavik Airport with a 5,235 ft (1,596 m) gravel runway regularly accommodating Boeing 737 jet aircraft.

Diavik Diamond Mine is an industrial complex and town in one, set in a remote, sub-Arctic landscape. In the 2013 satellite image below, you can see the two main open pits, waste rock piles, and an airstrip capable of landing aircraft as large as 737s and C-130s. The complex also houses processing plants, fuel tanks, water and sewage processing facilities, administrative buildings, and accommodations for workers and other residents. [3]

The mine is owned by a joint venture between the Dominion Diamond Corporation and Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Group. The lifespan of the mine is expected to be 16 to 22 years.

The mine consists of three kimberlite pipes associated with the Lac de Gras kimberlite field and is located on an island 20 km2 (7.7 sq mi) in Lac de Gras and is informally called East Island. It is about 220 km (140 mi) south of the Arctic Circle.

In 2006 the ice road from Yellowknife to the Diavik mine, and neighbouring mines, froze late and thawed early.[4] The Diavik mine was unable to truck in all the supplies needed for the rest of 2006 before the road closed and arrangements had to be made to bring the remainder of the supplies in by air.

On July 5, 2007 a consortium of seven mining companies, including Rio Tinto, announced they are sponsoring environmental impact studies to construct a deep-water port in Bathurst Inlet.[5][6] Their plans include building a 211 km (131 mi) road connecting the port to their mines. The port would serve vessels of up to 25,000 tonnes.

In March 2010, underground mining began at the mine. The transition from open pit to underground mining is expected to be completed by 2012.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Diavik Diamond Mine - Geography". Retrieved 2009-10-22. 
  2. ^ "The state of 2013 global rough diamond supply". Resource Investor. January 22, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-04. 
  3. ^ Diavik mine complex at NASA Earth Observatory
  4. ^ "Diavik Fact Book: The Diavik Diamond Mine" (PDF). Diavik Diamond Mine Incorporated. Retrieved 2007-09-04. 
  5. ^ Bob Weber (July 4, 2007). "Arctic port plan gathers steam". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  6. ^ Jonathan Ratner (July 5, 2007). "New Arctic port plan for Northern miners". National Post. Retrieved 2007-07-11. 
  7. ^ Guy Quenneville (March 29, 2010). "Diavik goes underground". Northern News Services. Retrieved 2010-08-29. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Chapter 17. Diamond Exploration – Ekati and Diavik Mines, Canada by Charles J. Moon (Google Books preview )in Charles J. Moon, M. K. G. Whateley, Anthony M. Evans, Introduction to Mineral Exploration, 2nd Edition. 2006,Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-1317-5.

External links[edit]