The Ekati Diamond Mine (named after the Tlicho word meaning ‘fat lake’) is Canada’s first surface and underground diamond mine. It officially began production in October 1998, following extensive exploration and development work dating back to 1981. Like Diavik, the Ekati mine site is located in the Lac de Gras region of the Northwest Territories, approximately 300 kilometers northeast of Yellowknife.
The Ekati mine is renowned for the premium gem quality diamonds it produces. The largest gem quality diamond produced to date at the mine is the 78 carat Ekati Spirit, which was discovered in 2010 and sold at auction in 2011. Cumulative production to January 2016 has totalled approximately 63 million carats.
The Company operates the Ekati Diamond Mine in which it owns a controlling interest. Over the mine’s early years, production was focused on six open pits and two underground operations. The current Reserves Base Case Mine Plan is based on production from six kimberlite pipes: Misery Main, Pigeon, Sable, Lynx and Jay open pits, and Koala underground operations. Currently, Koala, Misery Main and Pigeon pipes are being mined. Mining has not yet commenced at the Sable, Jay and Lynx pipes. In addition, the Misery South and Southwest satellite material is being excavated as part of the Misery Main mining operations. This material is being stockpiled separately and is planned to be processed through the Ekati plant as a supplement to the Reserve Base Case Mine Plan, which we refer to as the Operating Base Case Mine Plan. The Ekati process plant has the capacity to process 4.3 million tonnes per year. Additional feed from Coarse Ore Rejects will be used to supplement mined ore. This material is not included in the reserves or resources and is therefore incremental to production.
Jay was approved for construction by the Company in July 2016 and is the most significant undeveloped deposit at Ekati due to its large size and high grade and extends the mine life by approximately 10 years beyond the current projected closure in 2023 to 2033. The Company’s timetable for the development of Jay assumes early works permitting will be completed in 2016 with the start of road construction in 2017, dike construction in 2018-2020, dewatering and start of pre-stripping in 2021, and mining and processing of Jay kimberlite by late 2022.
As of January 31, 2016, the Ekati Mine (excluding the Jay pipe) is reported to contain 31.5 million carats of probable reserves in the Core Zone and 0.8 million carats of probable reserves in the Buffer Zone for a total of 32.2 million carats of total probable reserves (on a 100% basis). As at March 31, 2016, the Jay Pipe at the Ekati Mine is reported to contain 78.6 million carats of total probable reserves (on a 100% basis).
This web page contains forward-looking information. Forward-looking statements are provided for the purpose of providing information about management’s expectations and plans relating to the future. Readers are cautioned that actual results may differ materially from those set forth herein and are referred to our Terms and Conditions for more information.
N1 43-101 Technical Reports
2016 Ekati Diamond Mine Technical Report