Diavik Diamond Mine is located 300 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife on the shore of Lac de Gras. Operating since 2003, Diavik is an unincorporated joint venture between Rio Tinto and Dominion Diamond Corporation. As of 2014 Diavik has produced approximately 91 million carats.
On March 25, 2010, Diavik commenced underground mining operations. In 2012, the mine transitioned from a mostly open-pit operation to fully-underground. In 2014, the development of the A21 pipe was approved and is expected to allow Diavik to maintain production levels through the life of the mine. An updated plan released by Dominion forecasts that mining and processing will be completed in 2023.
Diavik continues to hire locally and provide benefits to the surrounding communities by committing to northern purchasing and contractors. Communities are involved in the environmental monitoring process through agreements made under the Socio-Economic Agreement signed with the Government of the Northwest Territories.
Located 310 kilometres north of Yellowknife, the Ekati Diamond Mine is Canada's first open pit and underground diamond mine. In operation since 1998, Ekati is currently operated by the Dominion Diamond Corporation. In 2013 BHP Billiton Diamonds Inc., completed the sale of their diamond business to Dominion Diamond Corporation, formerly known as Harry Winston Diamond Corporation. The mine is currently owned by Dominion (90%), and Stewart Blusson (10%).
Dominion is committed to maintaining Ekati's high environmental standards and continues to work closely with local businesses and communities to benefit the residents of the NWT.
The development of the Jay pipe, located approximately 7 km northeast of the Ekati’s Misery pit, is currently in the permitting stage. In February of 2016 the project received approval from the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board. With Jay scheduled to begin production in 2021 the Ekati mine life could be extended into 2030’s.
Located 280 kilometres northeast of Yellowknife, Gahcho Kué is an upcoming De Beers Canada Inc. and Mountain Province Diamonds Inc. joint venture with total indicated resources of approximately 49 million carats.
Gahcho Kué has an estimated base operating life of 11 years based on an average annual production of 4.5 million carats. The total capital cost of the project was approximately $1 billion CAD.The project was given approval for development from the Federal Government in the fall of 2013. The joint venture partners have also entered into socio-economic agreements with the GNWT and affected aboriginal stakeholders.
The Gahcho Kué mine opened on September 20, 2016.