LAC DES GRAS, N.W.T. The Diavik diamond mine is most assuredly up and running. Co-owner ABER DIAMOND CORP. has sold its first parcel of run-of-mine diamonds for over US$4.1 million. The packet contained 42,619 carats, making the average price per carat US$96.22. This is the first sale under a 10-year agreement with TIFFANY & CO., with that company taking 23% of the parcel. The remainder was sold on the Antwerp open market.
The average price is higher than anticipated from the feasibility study. The difference resulted from a combination of better quality in larger diamonds and under-recovery of very small diamonds, said Aber. Engineering has begun on changes to the recovery circuit so that small gems will not be missed. The enhancements should be on-stream by year-end with the objective of boosting recovery to 99% by value. Recovery is presently estimated at 96.5%.
Aber will release its Jan. 31, 2003, year-end financial results next Monday. Look them up at www.aber.ca after that date.