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Article: Diavik Diamond Mine

Diavik Diamond Mine

Description and Location

  • Diavik Diamond Mine is an industrial complex located on an island in Lac de Gras.
  • The complex includes four kimberlite pipes and various facilities such as processing plants and administrative buildings.
  • It is connected to points south by an ice road and Diavik Airport.
  • The mine has two main open pits, a waste rock pile, and an airstrip capable of landing large aircraft.
  • It is situated about 220km south of the Arctic Circle.

Commercial Importance

  • The mine is owned by a joint venture between Rio Tinto Group (60%) and Dominion Diamond Corporation (40%).
  • It is operated by Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., a subsidiary of Rio Tinto Group.
  • Commercial production began in 2003, and the mine is expected to have a lifespan of 16 to 22 years.
  • The mine employs 1,000 workers and produces approximately 7 million carats of diamonds annually.
  • It has become a significant contributor to the regional economy.


  • The area was surveyed in 1992, and construction of the mine started in 2001.
  • Production commenced in January 2003.
  • In 2006, the ice road froze late and thawed early, causing supply challenges for the mine.
  • Environmental impact studies were sponsored in 2007 to construct a deep-water port in Bathurst Inlet.
  • Underground mining began in March 2010, and the transition from open pit to underground mining was completed in September 2012.

Notable Discoveries

  • In December 2015, the 187.7 carat Diavik Foxfire diamond, one of the largest rough gem quality diamonds in Canada, was discovered.
  • The diamond was given an indigenous name, Noi?eh Kwe, meaning caribou crossing stone.
  • In October 2018, the largest diamond ever found in North America, a yellow diamond weighing 552 carats, was discovered at the mine.
  • These discoveries highlight the significant potential of the mine in producing exceptional diamonds.
  • The mine continues to explore and exploit new ore bodies, such as the A21 kimberlite pipe.

Related Sites and References

  • Other diamond mines in the region include Ekati Diamond Mine and Snap Lake Diamond Mine.
  • The Diavik Diamond Mine has been the subject of various studies and reports, including its geography and rough diamond supply.
  • Additional information and facts about the mine can be found in the Diavik Fact Book provided by Diavik Diamond Mine Incorporated.
  • The mine's wind farm, operational even in extreme cold temperatures, showcases its commitment to renewable energy.
  • News articles and reports provide updates on significant events and developments related to the mine.

Diavik Diamond Mine Data Sources

Reference URL
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