Ekati Diamond Mine
Ekati mine aerial view, August 2010. Four open pits on four kimberlite pipes may be seen, along with the Ekati airport.
|Location||Lac de Gras|
|Company||Dominion Diamond Corporation (80%),
Charles E. Fipke (10%),
Stewart Blusson (10%)
The Ekati Diamond Mine ("Ekati") is Canada's first surface and underground diamond mine. It is located 310 km (190 mi) north-east of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, and about 200 km (120 mi) south of the Arctic circle, near Lac de Gras. Ekati is a joint venture between Dominion Diamond Corporation (80%), and the two geologists who discovered kimberlite pipes north of Lac de Gras, Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blusson each holding a 10% stake in the mine.
The first volcanic pipe found in the Lac de Gras region was the Point Lake kimberlite, discovered by Chuck Fipke and Stewart Blusson who had been prospecting in the region for almost ten years, having found kimberlite indicator minerals as early as 1985. The Point Lake kimberlite was determined to be uneconomic, but its discovery precipitated one of largest staking rushes in mining history, covering most of the area between Yellowknife and the Arctic coast. There are 156 known kimberlite pipes within the Ekati block of claims, including the Point Lake pipe. Ekati officially began operations on October 14, 1998, and was operated by BHP Billiton Canada Inc., a part of the BHP Billiton Group, the world's largest diversified resources company.
As of November 2012 the mine was expected to operate for another seven years.
On November 13, 2012, CBC reported that the Harry Winston Diamond Corporation (now: Dominion Diamond Corporation), 40% owners of Diavik Diamond Mine, would buy Ekati for US$500 million. The current employees of BHP Billiton at the site in Yellowknife and Antwerp will continue to be employed by Harry Winston.
Diamonds at the Ekati site are found in 45- to 62-million-year-old kimberlite pipes (Creaser et al., 2004) of the Lac de Gras kimberlite field, most of which lie underneath shallow lakes.
Mining and marketing
Between 1998 and 2009, the mine has produced 40 million carats (8,000 kg or 17,637 lb) of diamonds out of six open pits. As the high grade ore close to surface was depleted, development was completed to access the ore utilizing underground methods. Currently, there is one underground operation (Koala) with open-cut mining occurring in Fox Pit. The mines current annual production is estimated to be approximately 7.5 million carats (1,500 kg or 3,307 lb) of diamonds.
Ekati supplies rough diamonds to the global market through its sorting and selling operations in Canada, Belgium, and India.
- Hugo Dummett of BHP, credited as co-discoverer of Ekati
- Volcanism of Canada
- Volcanism of Northern Canada
- Ekati Airport
- Zlotnikoc, Dan (November 2008). "A norther star - Canada's first diamond mine celebrates a milestone". CIM Magazine (Montreal, Quebec, Canada: CIM Magazine) 3 (7): 40–43. ISSN 1718-4177.
- Harry Winston buying Ekati mine for $500M US
- Erlich, E., Dan Hausel, W. (2002) Diamond deposits: origin, exploration, and history of discovery. Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc. (SME), Littleton, CO.
- The Northern Miner 1998 "Mining Man of the Year" award to Hugo Dummett
- "The state of 2013 global rough diamond supply". Resource Investor. January 22, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-04.
- "About Us". Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- Creaser, R.A. et al., 2004. "Macrocrystal phlogopite Rb-Sr dates for the Ekati property kimberlites, Slave Province, Canada: evidence for multiple intrusive episodes in the Paleocene and Eocene", 8th International Kimberlite Conference Selected Papers, vol. 1, pp. 399–414.
- Abraham, Carolyn, October 11, 2006. "X marks the spotlight for elusive benefactor", The Globe and Mail.
- Stuart Blusson from the GSC to Ekati
- "EKATI Diamond Mine 2009 Year in Review" (PDF). BHP Billiton Canada Inc. 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-04.]
- Kevin Krajick, Barren Lands: An Epic Search for Diamonds in the North American Arctic. 2001, Freeman/Henry Holt, ISBN 0-7167-4026-5. Review at Smithsonian Magazine
- 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.
- Figures and captions from Chapter 17 are available at publisher's site