Unexplored Ekati pipe could yield 16m carats, says Dominion

A 373.72-carat rough diamond from Lucara Diamond Corporation


Dominion Diamond Corporation reported that an untapped section of the Ekati Diamond Mine in Canada has a potential mineral resource of 16 million carats.

Dominion Diamond Corporation reported that an untapped section of the Ekati Diamond Mine in Canada has a potential mineral resource of 16 million carats.

The Leslie kimberlite pipe in Ekati is the “highest-priority” among those that have been bulk sampled, according to Dominion Diamond. The pipe, however, has yet to be included in the current mine plan. It was discovered in the summer of 1992, and is located under a small lake between the Koala and Fox pipes, one kilometre east of the Fox haul road. 

The pipe is estimated to contain an inferred mineral resource of 51 million tonnes.

Dominion Diamond also announced that it is rekindling a strategic focus on exploration. 

“Our renewed focus on exploration is generating strong results along the entire project pipeline, reflecting near-, mid- and longer-term potential,” said Jim Gowans, chairman of the board. “We expect to complete pre-feasibility studies on Misery Deep and Fox Deep during the current fiscal year, and have identified high-potential pipes in proximity to our existing infrastructure in the Lac de Gras region.”

The miner has set aside a five-year budget of approximately C$50 million (around $37.13 million) as part of this exploration-focused strategy.

“We are mining and exploring in what is still a relatively young mining district,” continued Gowans. “There has been no greenfield exploration at Ekati since 2007, and of the 150 known kimberlites, only about 40 have had follow-up bulk sampling. We believe there is strong potential for further exploration success at Ekati and Diavik, and throughout the highly prospective Lac de Gras region.”

The Kodiak pipe at the Ekati mine, meanwhile, is a top priority among pipes that have not been bulk sampled, noted Dominion Diamond.

Kodiak and Leslie pipes are close to an existing infrastructure at the Ekati mine, with potential to be included in a future life-of-mine plan, it added. JNA

Lucara sells 373.72-carat diamond for $18m

Lucara Diamond Corporation sold a 373.72-carat rough diamond for $17.54 million from its first exceptional stone tender of 2017. 

The company achieved a total of $54.8 million in sales, or $31,010 per carat. The tender consisted of 15 single-stone lots, ranging from 373.72 carats to 29.90 carats in size, totalling 1,765.72 carats.

William Lamb, president and CEO of Lucara Diamond, commented, “Now on its fifth year of production, the Karowe mine continues to deliver strong and consistent results from its regular and exceptional tenders, demonstrating the robust nature of the orebody and the predictable contribution from large, high-value diamonds (more than 10.8-carat specials).”

A total of seven diamonds sold for more than $2 million each, including Lot 1001 – the 373.72-carat Type IIA diamond, which fetched a per carat price of $46,935.

Three additional diamonds were snapped up for more than $4 million including a 182.47-carat stone, which sold for $6.3 million. The average value of diamonds sold year-to-date exceeded $1,221 per carat.

“This tender achieved a price in excess of $31,000 per carat, further evidencing the continued, strong demand for our diamonds in the marketplace. To date, the company has sold 145 diamonds for more than $1 million each, bringing in revenues of greater than $528 million. These strong cash flows support the company’s dividend policy and growth strategy,” added Lamb. JNA