Diavik Diamond Mines announced Thursday the start of production from its new underground mine.
Diavik’s inauguration ceremony was attended by a senior Rio Tinto delegation, Traditional Owners, Northwest Territories dignitaries, and employees.
The Diavik mine currently comprises three diamond bearing kimberlite pipes that will be mined using open pit and underground mining methods. Underground operations will steadily increase as the open pits are depleted. By 2012, Diavik is expected to be a 100 percent underground mine. A fourth pipe is being reviewed to determine the viability of mining. According to Rio Tinto, the underground operation will extend the life of the Diavik mine past 2020.