Top diamond mines in Canada

The Canadian diamond industry is alive and well

by Danielle Cameron
a pile of diamonds on display

The Renard mine produces jewelry-quality diamonds. — Photo courtesy Stornoway Diamonds

The 1990s sparked a boom in Canadian diamond discoveries and mining opportunities. In 2017 alone, our country produced 23 million carats of the gemstone, at a total value of $2.6 billion. Not only are Canadian diamonds of high quality, they are also mined in areas with rigorous environmental protection in place, and with certification to ensure their authenticity.

These are some of the top diamond mines currently operating in Canada:

Gahcho Kue Diamond Mine

Location: Kennady Lake, Northwest Territories

Owners: De Beers Canada Inc. (51 per cent) and Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. (49 per cent.)

Annual production: 4.5 million carats

The open-pit Gahcho Kue Diamond Mine has earned several awards over the years, including the Hatch-CIM Mining & Metals Project Development Safety Award, the Viola R. MacMillan Award from the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, and a number of mine rescue competitions, to name just a few of its team’s achievements.

Diavik Diamond Mine

Location: Lac de Gras, Northwest Territories

Owners: Diavik Diamond Mines (2012) Inc. (60 per cent) and Dominion Diamond Diavik Limited Partnership (40 per cent).

Annual production: 6 - 7 million carats

Diavik is an underground mine that is expected to continue producing high-quality diamonds well into 2025. The company emphasizes good social, environmental and economic practices.

Ekati Diamond Mine

Location: Lac de Gras, Northwest Territories

Owner: Dominion Diamond Mines

Annual production: Approximately 3 million carats

The Ekati Diamond Mine got its name from the Tlicho word that means “fat lake” and it was Canada’s first surface and underground diamond mine. It is expected to operate until 2034 at its current rate, but there may be expansions to the operation, which would extend its life even further.

Renard Diamond Mine

Location: James Bay region, Quebec

Owner: Stornoway Diamonds

Annual production: 1.6 million carats

This is Quebec’s first (and only) diamond mine, owned 100 per cent by Stornoway Diamonds. It employs more than 500 people and began commercial production in 2017.

Star-Orion South Diamond Project

Location: 60 kilometres east of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan

Owner: Star Diamond Corporation

Annual production: N/A

The Star-Orion project is fully owned by Star Diamond Corporation and began bulk sampling in 2018. It is estimated that 66 million carats of diamonds could be recovered in the surface mine over the next 38 years.

 

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