Canadian mining company Dominion Diamond Mines will recall about 60 furloughed employees in early December to prepare for an anticipated restart of the Ekati mine in the Northwest Territories, Canada. The decision to restart Canada’s first surface and underground diamond mine comes after Dominion said it expects an agreement to be finalized between the banks that comprise its senior secured lenders and an ad hoc group of holders of its second lien notes to restructure its debt and provide funding to the company. Necessary lead times are required to mobilize the workforce while adequately complying with COVID-19 isolation protocols, the company said.
Dominion said it will continue to take necessary precautions to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for its employees and the communities in the Northwest Territories.
Dominion filed for insolvency in April, a month after operations were suspended and more than 300 employees were furloughed at the Ekati mine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under an order from the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) Court, Dominion is protected from its creditors until December 15.
Last month, a deal to sell its assets for approximately $126 million in cash to an affiliate of The Washington Cos. fell through.
Dominion Diamond Mines ULC owns a controlling interest in the Ekati diamond mine, which it operates, and 40% of the Diavik diamond mine, with Rio Tino holding the remaining 60%. The company also holds a controlling interest in the Lac de Gras diamond project.