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Article: Ellendale Diamond Field

Ellendale Diamond Field

Ellendale Diamond Field

  • High value fancy yellow diamonds are a signature of the Ellendale Diamond Field.
  • Between 2009 and 2015, Tiffany & Co had exclusive rights to purchase 100% of the fancy yellow diamonds produced at Ellendale.
  • Ellendale fancy yellow diamonds are typically highly lustrous and shiny surfaced.
  • Many of the Ellendale diamonds have undergone a process called resorption, resulting in the loss of more than 50% of their original weight.
  • The diamonds are often rounded tetrahexahedroids or dodecahedra.

History of the Ellendale Field

  • The Ellendale Diamond Field was discovered in November 1976 by a group of companies known as the Ashton Joint Venture.
  • The focus shifted away from Ellendale to the Argyle diamond mine in 1979.
  • Geologists from the Kimberley Diamond Company (KDC) later recognized diamond enrichment over the Ellendale pipes.
  • After a legal battle, KDC obtained the Ellendale mining lease from the Ashton Joint Venture.
  • The development of the Ellendale deposits was left in limbo for more than two decades.

Ellendale 9 (E9)

  • Hard rock mining began at the Ellendale 9 (E9) pipe in May 2002.
  • Mining at E9 continued under various owners until mid-2015.
  • Diamonds were first discovered at the Ellendale 4 pipe, but mining started at E9.
  • E9 is located approximately 15km northwest of E4.
  • E9 mining operations ceased in 2015 when Kimberley Diamond Company entered into administration.

Ellendale 4 (E4)

  • Mining operations at the E4 pipe began in 2005.
  • The E4 mine was put on care and maintenance in 2009 due to economic factors.
  • High Australian dollar and dwindling reserves made the E4 pipe uneconomic.
  • E4 is located in the Ellendale Diamond Field.
  • Mining activities at E4 ceased in July 2015 when Kimberley Diamond Company entered into liquidation.

Abandonment of the E9 and E4 hard rock pits

  • Mining activities at the E9 and E4 hard rock mines abruptly ceased in July 2015.
  • Kimberley Diamond Company entered into administration and subsequent liquidation.
  • The E9 and E4 mine pits were declared abandoned mine sites in December 2015.
  • The Western Australia Mining Rehabilitation Fund Act 2012 governed the declaration of the abandoned mine sites.
  • The future re-opening of the collapsed and flooded hard rock pits is being studied.

Ellendale Diamond Field Data Sources

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