Canada’s Diavik diamond mine on schedule

The construction of Canada’s Diavik diamond mine near the Arctic Circle progressed as planned in the fourth quarter and was on schedule to begin production in the first half of 2003, the mine’s partners said on Friday, Reuters reported.

The country’s second diamond mine at Lac de Gras in the Northwest Territories was within the planned C$1.3 billion (US$810 million) capital cost budget, said Canada’s Aber Diamond Corp. and Diavik Diamond Mines Inc, a unit of London’s Rio Tinto Plc.

Fourth-quarter expenditures were C$135 million (US$83.9 million, the partners said in a quarterly update, Reuters reported.

They said the first dike, or water diversion structure, was completed around two diamond ore bodies in October. About six million tons of rock was used to build the 2.5-mile embankment, and completion of the structure’s internal waterproof concrete barrier would be completed in the summer, Reuters reported. Diavik said it anticipated ferrying about 2,700 loads of fuel and supplies to the mine site this winter.