Ekati Diamond Mine celebrated 25 years of production on October 14, 2023, and we are both proud of what has been accomplished and excited about the future!
Ekati is Canada’s first diamond mine, with the first diamonds discovered in 1991. The discovery triggered the largest staking rush in Canadian history and put Canada on the map as a plentiful source of quality ethically produced diamonds.
Over the past quarter of a century, Ekati became world-renowned for producing some of the world’s most amazing fancy colour and white diamonds, and it continues to do so to this day.
Burgundy Diamond Mines is the owner and operator of the asset, proudly producing and delivering Canadian ethically sourced Ekati diamonds to the market. Through its unique end-to-end business model with total chain of custody, Burgundy can assure diamond origin and traceability along the full diamond value chain, safeguarding the ethical production of Ekati diamonds from mining to marketing and discovery to design.
“We are proud to continue Ekati’s legacy in Canada and enhance its reputation around the globe, by successfully and sustainably producing exceptionally high-quality, ethically sourced diamonds with Canadian provenance,” said Kim Truter, CEO and Managing Director of Burgundy Diamond Mines. “Ekati has significant resources and is a world-class mine with exceptional infrastructure in a favorable jurisdiction with a significant opportunity for growth.”
To date, Ekati has produced 95 million carats extracted from surface and underground pit ore bodies, and it is ranked in the top 10 diamond mines globally based on production carats recovered in 2022.
Ekati’s current mine plan extends through to 2028, with Sable open and Misery underground in active operation and Point Lake open scheduled to go into production in 2024.
“Point Lake has historic significance as the site of the first diamondiferous kimberlite discovered in Canada’s Northwest Territories. It is fitting that we celebrate this year preparing the site as our next project on the 1,100 square kilometer claim block at Ekati,” said Jeremy Taylor, Vice-President Technical at Burgundy Diamond Mines. “On October 14, 2023, 25 years to the day of our first day of production, we recognized the significant milestone of completing the dewatering and are now preparing the area to begin production by late 2024.”
Potential future project additions to the existing mine plan at Ekati, include five conceptual conventional mine life enhancements, currently under consideration:
- Continuing to advance underground mining operations at Misery underground.
- Looking at alternatives for the expansion of Point Lake.
- Evaluating Sable underground opportunity following open pit completion.
- Opportunity for underground operations at Fox, below the existing open pit.
- Opportunities to maximize the remaining stockpile resource at Fox pit.
Ekati continues to contribute to the economy of the North by providing a wide variety of employment opportunities for generations of Indigenous and Northern residents. Burgundy’s partnerships with Indigenous communities, continue to provide significant socio-economic benefits through community programs, sponsorships, financial donations, scholarships, apprenticeships and various other initiatives dedicated to education and development opportunities for people living in Canada’s North.
“As one of the major employers in the North for the past 25 years, Ekati remains committed to working collaboratively with local community leaders, stakeholder groups and governments, to create jobs and provide essential development opportunities in communities through financial assistance, in-kind support and sustainable projects, to support a more prosperous future for people living in Northern Canada,” said Sheila Chernys, Head of Safety, Environment and Communities at Burgundy Diamond Mines.
As we reflect on the history, the contributions made possible by the mine and the opportunities ahead of us, we continue to be in awe of the people who work at Ekati. It is through the perseverance and hard work of those who ensure they are prepared to deliver results at our 24/7 365 day a year operation in a harsh sub-arctic climate, that the mine continues to be a success. Ekati is a cornerstone asset in the Burgundy Diamond Mines portfolio and has a great future with numerous opportunities to extend the life of the mine and provide future growth opportunities well into the next decade.