Canada: The Next Diamond Superpower?

Canada has arrived in the diamond industry in a big way—and it's about to get bigger. Its first mine, Ekati, accounts for 6% of world production by value. In February comes a second mine, the equally big Diavik. Snap Lake, De Beers' horse in this race, is scheduled to come on stream in 2006. With that, Canada's share of the market could top 15%, making it a serious rival to South Africa for the title of world's third-largest diamond producer, behind Botswana and Russia. And that may be just the beginning. These mines are in the Northwest Territories, but there's exploration in every Canadian province and promising kimberlites all over the country. The Great White North may have more diamonds than anyone ever dreamed. Crowed one Canadian trade publication: "Nothing short of an empire is under way." Big players. These big finds have attracted big players. De Beers now spends 40% of
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