NORTHWEST TERRITORIES - The premature closure of the ice road to Diavik and other mining projects due to unseasonably warm weather meant that significant quantities of fuel, construction materials and equipment could not be trucked in as planned. Despite this shortfall, DIAVIK DIAMOND MINES says it will maintain mine production and capital construction as planned for 2006. This will require an airlift to fly the necessary materials to the mine site, 300 km north of Yellowknife.
The greatest challenge is transporting a new excavator to the mine site. No commercial aircraft can move the pieces of the excavator until they are cut down from the size that could have been trucked over the ice road. Diavik has chartered a Russian Mi26 helicopter, the largest commercial craft available. The excavator will be assembled at the mine site.
Diavik must also fly in the materials needed for construction of its second dike to be completed this year. The company will have to bring in a Russian Antonov AN12 aircraft, similar to a Hercules transport, to fly in cement, bentonite and the other construction materials required over the next two months.
Visit the Diavik website at www.Diavik.ca.