NORTHWEST TERRITORIES — Thanks to increasing market strength, the planned one-month winter shutdown at the Diavik diamond mine near Lac des Gras has been cancelled. The mine is owned 60% and operated by Rio Tinto; the remaining 40% is held by Harry Winston Diamond Corp. of Toronto.
Earlier this year, Diavik announced a series of actions in response to changes in market conditions, including plans for a summer and winter production shutdown. The summer shutdown was safely and successfully concluded on Aug. 24 and rough diamond production has returned to pre-shutdown levels. Environmental monitoring, raising of the embankment around the processed kimberlite containment area, and planned equipment maintenance took place during the summer shutdown. Approximately 600 workers were affected but were able to use accumulated leave entitlements or access salary averaging.
The Diavik mine, currently an open pit mine, is planning to begin underground production in early 2010. By 2012, Diavik expects open pit mining will cease at which time Diavik will become an all-underground mine.
Read more at www.Diavik.ca.