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Diavik hits 100-million-carat milestone

diavikOne hundred million carats of rough diamonds have been unearthed at Canada’s Diavik mine since production commenced in 2003.

Located on an island in a remote sub-arctic lake, Diavik produces predominantly gem-quality diamonds. The mine is operated and partly owned by Rio Tinto.

“We are delighted to reach this milestone and I am enormously proud of the teams who have helped make this happen safely and responsibly in some of the harshest operating conditions in the world,” said Rio Tinto Diamonds salt and uranium managing director, Simon Trott.

Approximately half of the mine’s 1100 employees live in Canada’s north and one quarter of Diavik’s workforce is Aboriginal. Since 2003, $6.8 billion Cdn. has been spent on goods and services to support the mine, of which more than 70 per cent is with local firms, many of them Aboriginal-owned.

“Strong and respectful partnerships are at the heart of the way we work at Diavik and I would like to thank all of our investors, our community, business and government partners, and our workforce for their support over the past 13 years,” said Diavik Diamond Mines president and chief operating officer, Marc Cameron.

“This production milestone is especially gratifying, given our strong safety record, our focus on ethics and the environment, and an unwavering commitment to delivering substantial and lasting benefits to all our stakeholders.”

In 2014, the development of a fourth pipe at Diavik—known as A21—was approved. Part of the original mine plan, A21 is estimated to cost $350 million U.S. to develop. Production from A21 is expected to commence in 2018.

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