Dominion Diamond Corp. reported its Diavik diamond mine produced 1.6 million carats (ct) from 500,000 metric tons (mt) of ore processed in Q2 2013, down from 1.8 million ct from 500,000 million mt of ore processed year-on-year.

For the first half of 2013, meanwhile, Diavik recovered 3.5 million ct from 1 million mt of ore compared with 3.4 million ct from 1.1 million mt of ore over the same period in 2012. Overall, 2013’s 3% recoverable carat increase was largely due to grade increases in each of the kimberlite pipes, according to Dominion. The average ore grade processed, including reprocessed plant rejects (RPR), stood at 3.41 ct/mt compared with 3.18 ct/mt year-on-year.

An updated 2013 mine plan forecasts production of 7.3 million ct from the processing of 2.2 million mt, including 400,000 mt from stockpiles, is an approximate 22% carat increase in expected production, compared to the original plan, said Dominion. Activities will be underground with some 700,000 mt expected to be sourced from A-154 North, approximately 500,000 mt from A-154 South, and approximately 600,000 mt from A-418 kimberlite pipes.

The 2013 estimates include 400,000 ct from RPR and 100,000 ct from the improved recovery process for small diamonds. The recoveries are incremental and not included in reserves and resource statements, the company added. Between mid-April and June 30, meanwhile, Ekati produced 400,000 ct from 1 million mt of processed ore. With an 80% production basis, the average ore grade processed was 0.41 ct/mt.

The plan and budget for the Ekati diamond mine foresees production to 2013 year-end of approximately 1 million ct from the mining of 3.5 million mt of ore and the processing of some 3.9 million mt. Additional materials will consist of diamond-bearing kimberlite from the Misery open pit, which will be excavated as waste stripping inside advances.