MINING NEWS: Jericho diamond mine opens in Nunavut
Tahera Diamond Corp. celebrated the opening Aug. 17 of Jericho, Canada’s third operating diamond mine and the first diamond mining venture to come online in the arctic territory of Nunavut.
Just across the Northwest Territories border about 260 miles from Yellowknife, Jericho will eventually produce 375,000 carats of diamonds a year to yield 2.6 million carats over the initial eight-year life of the mine. Tiffany & Co., a marketing and financing partner in the venture, has first dibs on the mine’s output, as well as a contract to market any remaining stones for Tahera, a Toronto-based junior mining company.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper attended opening ceremonies and praised the mine’s developers for providing jobs and benefits for the people of Nunavut.
Open-pit mine will employ 125-175Jericho is expected to employ 125-175 workers in the open-pit mining operation. It will process up to 2,000 tonnes of ore a day, with an average yield of 1,700 carats of diamonds worth $85-$100 per carat at current prices. Last year, rough stones worldwide sold for $84 a carat on average.
One-tenth the size of Ekati and Diavik, Canada’s two other operating diamond mines in the Northwest Territories, the C$120 million Jericho project is viewed as a potential model for future diamond mining development in the Arctic. Its lower capital costs and rapid development timetable bode well for the venture’s profitability.