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Dominion Diamond restarts Ekati process plant
Sells largest gem quality diamond ever recovered at the Ekati for US$2.8 million
By: Diamond World News Service
Sep 27 2016 8:44AM
Reference: 13458  

Dominion Diamond Corporation has restarted operations at its Ekati process plant which were suspended due to a fire occurring at the plant on June 23, 2016. The plant has now resumed operations at full capacity.

At the time the fire occurred at the plant, the company implemented an active management strategy designed to mitigate the impact of the fire on production and cash flow for the current fiscal year.

“We are very pleased the process plant repairs have been substantially completed ahead of schedule and below our original cost estimate,” said Brendan Bell, Chief Executive Officer. “This is a testament to the outstanding skills and determined efforts of our team at Ekati. Their contributions were instrumental in the development and implementation of our active management strategy which is expected to help minimize the impact of the fire on production and cash flows for this fiscal year.”

As part of this strategy, the company reduced operating and capital costs by deferring mining activities at the Lynx and Pigeon open pits, while continuing to mine and stockpile higher value ore from the Misery Main open pit and Koala underground. The ore blend for the remainder of the current fiscal year is expected to be a blend of the higher value Misery Main and Koala ore of which approximately 750,000 tonnes was available in stock-pile when the plant resumed operations. The total cost of the process plant repairs is approximately US$15 million.

The company also sold a 186 carat gem quality diamond at its most recent sale in September. The diamond sold for US$2.8 million. The gem, recovered in June, was noteworthy for being the largest gem quality diamond ever recovered at the Ekati mine.

“The Ekati mine is world-renowned for its premium gem quality diamonds,” said Mr. Bell. “We are particularly encouraged that this exceptional stone was recovered during the processing of ore mined from the early benches of the Pigeon open pit. The recovery of a gem quality stone of this size is a reminder that there continues to be upside potential to the modelled prices used for our Ekati ore bodies.”

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