Thursday, April 16, 2009

Did You Know?-The Northwest Territories is One of the World’s Largest Producers of Diamonds

  • The diamond is the official gem of the Northwest Territories.

  • The discovery of diamonds in 1991, at Lac De Gras resulted in the largest staking rush in Canadian history.

  • BHP’s Ekati mine in the NWT was Canada’s first diamond mine. Construction began in 1997 and it opened officially on October 14, 1998.

  • Since 1998, about 78,947,507 carats worth of gem quality diamonds have been mined in the NWT – with an estimated value of $11.368 billion/CAD.

  • De Beers’ Snap Lake Mine is Canada’s first fully underground diamond operation – and the first mine ever built by the world’s diamond giant outside of Africa.

  • The collective operations of the Ekati, Diavik and Snap Lake diamond mines are producing 15% of the world’s rough diamonds. Diamond production for 2007 reached 16.6 million carats worth $1.4 billion.

  • Canada is the third largest diamond producer by value in the world after Botswana and Russia.

  • Since 1996, the NWT’s diamond mines have provided over 16,000 person years of employment – over 4,400 to Aboriginal residents and have surpassed $5 billion in investment with northern and Aboriginal businesses.

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