The Diavik Diamond Mine is Canada’s largest diamond mine in terms of carat production. Diavik was established following the discovery of four diamond-bearing deposits, called kimberlite pipes, in 1994 and 1995.
The mine site is located in Canada’s remote wilderness on a 20 square kilometer island, at Lac de Gras, Northwest Territories, approximately 300 kilometers from Yellowknife, the territorial capital, and just 220 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle.
Diavik began producing diamonds in January 2003, and the Company sold its first rough diamonds in March that year. Diavik diamonds are highly regarded in the international commercial marketplace particularly for their white colour and good clarity. Diavik’s exceptional grades make it one of the most valuable diamond mines in the world.
Dominion Diamond Mines does not operate the Diavik Diamond Mine. The mine is operated by Diavik Diamond Mines (2012) Inc., a subsidiary of Rio Tinto plc, one of the world’s largest and most highly regarded mining companies. Under the joint arrangement, Rio Tinto operates the mine and Dominion Diamond pays 40 per cent of the mine’s operating and capital costs while receiving 40 per cent of the mine’s diamond output.
The mine plan is built on four diamond-bearing kimberlite pipes. The three kimberlite pipes currently being mined, A154 South, A154 North, and A418, are very high grade. The fourth pipe, A21, is currently in development with the first kimberlite production anticipated by the end of 2018. As of December 31, 2016, the Diavik Mine had 26.4 million carats of proven reserves and 19.5 million carats of probable reserves for 46.0 million carats of total proven and probable reserves (reserves are for 100 per cent of the Diavik Mine, in which the Company has a 40 per cent ownership interest).
The current mine plan is expected to take the mine’s production to 2025.