Dominion Diamond Corp. has filed the Developer’s Assessment Report (DAR) with the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board for mining of the Jay kimberlite pipe at its Ekati diamond operations in Canada’s Northwest Territories. The purpose of the DAR is to meet the requirements of the review board’s environmental assessment process.
The Jay project is an extension of the current Ekati mining operation, with the potential to extend mine life to approximately 2030, more than 10 years beyond the current closure date.
Facilities required to support development of the project and process the kimberlite already exist at the Ekati mine.
Following submission of the DAR, the analytical and hearing phases of the environmental assessment process are anticipated to deliver a ministerial decision in late 2015. Once this decision is issued, the water license and land-use permitting process will take approximately a further six months.
The Jay project proposes building a water-retention dike following a horse shoe-shaped alignment from the shoreline out into Lac du Savage to isolate the portion of the lake overlying the Jay pipe. The dike will be 5 km long, with an average water depth of 5 m. The water in this isolated area, with a surface area of about 4 km2, will be pumped out so that an open-pit can be developed to access the diamonds in the Jay pipe. The Jay pit is expected to reach a final depth of about 370 m.
The project timeline currently envisions that dike construction could begin in the summer of 2016 and continue through to 2019. De-watering and pre-stripping would then commence, followed by conventional open-pit mining, with production currently expected to begin in 2020.
A pre-feasibility study of the Jay project is scheduled for release before year-end 2014.
The Jay kimberlite pipe is located in the southeastern portion of the Ekati mine property, approximately 25 km from the main Ekati facilities and 7 km northeast of the Misery pit. The Jay project is part of the Ekati Buffer Zone Joint Venture, in which Dominion Diamond has a 65.3% interest.