In its quarterly earnings report, Dominion Diamond reported strong results for both the Diavik and Ekati diamond mines. The company also filed a project description report for the Lynx Project and anticipates filing a similar survey for the Jay-Cardinal Project before October’s end.
Q3 witnessed continued strong performance amid change and improvement at both projects, according to company officials. Diavik, most notably, produced 1.7 million carats (ct) from 500,000 metric tons (mt) of ore processed. The Diavik mine’s full-year production target, accordingly, remains at 7.3 million carats (ct) from the mining of 1.9 million mt of ore and the processing of 2.2 million mt, which includes stockpiled ore.
Diavik’s full-year target production expects mining activities will be exclusively underground with 700,000 mt expected to be sourced from A-154 North, approximately 500,000 mt from A-154 South and approximately 700,000 mt from A-418 kimberlite pipes. Included in the estimated production for 2013 is approximately 400,000 ct from RPR and 100,000 ct from the improved recovery process for small diamonds. These RPR and small diamond recoveries are not included in the company’s reserves and resource statement and are therefore incremental to production.
Senior management, headed by CEO Robert A. Gannicott, is now based at headquarters near operations in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. Having the senior management team based near the operations together with the arrival of Chantal Lavoie as president and COO of Dominion Diamond, Ekati Corp. is already demonstrating benefits during the third quarter of 2013, according to the company. Ekati achieved better than expected operational and production results, while maintaining the continued strong focus on health, safety and the environment.
Ekati produced 400,000 ct from 900,000 mt of ore processed. Q3 activities focused on the Fox open-pit production, along with Koala and Koala North underground. The company, meanwhile, recovered 300,00 ct from 200,0000 mt of coarse ore rejects along with diamond-bearing kimberlite excavated from a satellite in the Misery open pit.
On a 100%-basis company, Dominion officials now forecast mining 4.2 million mt during 2013 and they are maintaining a 1 million ct production target.
Dominion applied with the Wek’eezhii Land and Water Board for land use and water licensing permits to mine for the Lynx kimberlite pipe at Ekati, located 3 km southwest of the active Misery pit. The Lynx pipe is believed to have 1.3 million tons of indicated resource at 0.8 ct/mt and 100,000 mt of inferred resource at 0.8 ct/mt; rough diamond recovery prices for the Lynx diamonds are estimated at $257/ct.