Diavik to spend $385 million on mine in 2003

Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., which expects to open Canada’s second diamond mine in 2003, yesterday said it will spend $385-million on the project next year, Canada’s Financial Post reported.

Construction on the Diavik mine, located in the Lac des Gras region about 186 miles northeast of Yellowknife, began earlier this year.

Workforce levels at the mine are expected to increase early in 2002 when the winter road opens, the publication reported. The entire project is expected to cost $1.3-billion. The company said startup of the mine is expected for April 2003.

Diavik Diamonds is 60% owned by Diavik Diamond Mines Inc., which is a subsidiary of London-based Rio Tinto PLC, and Toronto-based Aber Diamond Corp.

The Diavik mine is located near Canada’s first diamond project the Ekati Mine. Ekati is 80% owned by Australian mining giant BHP Billiton PLC.

Until Diavik enters diamond production, publicly traded Aber’s revenue comes primarily from interest on investments.