Diavik Diamond Mine. Canada
These specific scars on the earth are located in the North Slave region, Northwest Territories, Canada. It is about 300 kilometers north of Yellowknife, approximately 220 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle. It is a Diavik Quarry, located on islands near the Great Slave Lake, and it is one of the youngest mines in the world.
The quarry is used for diamond mining. The first diamonds were discovered on the islands during the study in 1992. In 1995, this field was recognized cost-effective for the development. The quarry has its own industrial infrastructure with a large airport. It has a 1596-meter airstrip of gravel, which regularly meets jet airplanes such as “Boeing 737”. Here are mining and processing buildings, houses for employees and more. Processing Plant is one of the largest buildings in the Canadian north – its height is 35 m. Furthermore, Diavik has administrative complex. It includes offices, warehouses, 6 fuel tanks with a volume of 18 million liters each, 2 own power plants, boiler plant, etc. The construction on the island was started in 2001. The gemstone mining is conducted since January 2003. Today the total area of Diavik is about 10 square kilometers. According to experts, the total production of the mine will take 16 to 22 years. The reserves of the mine are estimated at 16.4 million tones of ore with a content of 2.9 carats per tonne.
Quarry Diavik has become one of the most expensive industrial projects in the world for the recent years. Currently, the quarry is a set of three kimberlitic pipes. Every year, they provide about 1 600 kg of diamonds (8 million carats) worth $ 100 million. This is an important part of the economy of this region. The most modern and functional equipment is used for this work. The mine employs more than 700 people. Annually, up to 2 million tons of ore are processed at the mine.
Diavik mine is located on an artificial island of Lac de Gras with an area of 20 sq km. In summer, the quarry is surrounded by sea, and it is shrouded in ice in winter. A significant part of the year, the diamond production has to be carried in extreme weather conditions. In this regard, the huge financial contributions are made into the project. In winter, the mine is covered with snow, roads and airport runways are covered with ice. The wind in January and February can lower -55° to -75°C. This leads to a significant reduction in the scope of work. In 2006, the ice road from Yellowstone to Diavik and neighboring quarries froze late and melted early. All the rest of multi-ton mining equipment had to be delivered by air.
«Diavik» – is not only mine. It is an active social and environmental work. Programs implemented at the mine, were winners of many competitions and make a positive contribution to the lives of local residents, as well as environmental protection.