have a strong reputation for quality, integrity and brilliant white
It is said the sparkle from Canadian diamond rings mimics the eerie
and enchanting radiance of the Northern Lights. This is a bit of a romantic notion as it is actually the cut of the
diamond, not its national identity that makes it twinkle like a Northern star.
Still, Canadian diamonds are among the whitest in the world. Thanks
to stringent government regulations in the Northwest Territories they are also extremely high quality and
conflict-free diamonds. This Canadian reputation for integrity means that Canadian diamond rings are competing well
in the gemstone jewelry market.
Discovery of Canadian Diamonds
Canadian diamonds are also quite special because they have only been
around about thirty years. Prior to their discovery in Canada's Artic north in 1985, the finest quality diamonds
were sourced from South Africa. This monopoly was put to an end when two Canadian geologists, Charles Fipke and his
partner Stuart Blusson discovered a large vein of Kimberlite near Lac De Gras in the Yukon, Canada. This discovery
was exciting as Kimberlite is the ideal stone-growing medium for high quality diamonds. Soon after this, in 1991,
yet another source of diamonds in Kimberlite was found in Nunavit in the Northwest Territories.
|Canadian diamonds are best known for their quality,
brilliant white colour. (Image
Canadian Diamonds are Certified
The money to extract these valuable diamonds comes from the
Canadian government. The gemstones that are produced are also certified by the government body. This means that
unlike many diamonds that you can buy today, the Canadian diamond can be traced back to the diamond it was mined
from. Canadian diamonds are also etched with a serial number as well as a teensy microscopic image of a polar bear
or a maple leaf. All diamonds mined in this conscientious country come with a Canadian Triple Guarantee, which
assures the quality and purity of the rock.
Canadian Diamonds Reputation
Over the years, Canadian Diamonds have earned quite a reputation for
quality and integrity. As they are traceable, you know that they are not sold to fund terrorism in Angola or other
African countries - Canadian diamonds are conflict free. These diamonds are of very high quality with their
most precious characteristic being their brilliant white colour. This is especially true of the diamonds that come
from the Ekati mines. Their purity and clarity makes a stellar diamond engagement ring.
In the last thirty years, Canada has risen to become one of the top
three producers of gemstone quality diamonds in the world. Although South Africa produces the most diamonds, many
of them are for industrial and technological uses. Currently Canada is the third top producer of diamonds for rings
behind Botswana and Russia.
Canada's Diamond Mines
Two of the largest diamond mines in Canada are located very near and
just north of the city of Yellowknife in the North West Territories. Two mines are operated in this area - the
Diavik and Ekati mines. The third big mine, called Jericho-3 started mining operations in 2005 in Nunavut. A fourth
mine called Snap Lake-4, which is in Northern Ontario (and quite a bit south of the other three diamond mines)
began production in 2007.
Charles Fipke and Stewart Blusson, the geologists who originally
discovered the vein of Kimberlite, own Canada's first diamond mine, the Ekati Mine, along with the Australian
mining conglomerate BHP Billiton. The Ekati diamond mine is also Canada’s first surface and underground diamond
mine. The mine produced 45 million carats (8,000 kg) of diamonds out of six open pits, between 1998 and 2009. This
treasure trove is expected to be in production for the next two decades. It currently produces four per cent of the
world's fine diamonds. Diamonds from this mine are sold under the trade name Aurias.
The Diavik mine is cooperatively owned by a British mining called Rio
Tinto PLC and the the Aber Diamond Corp that is based in Toronto, Ontario. It has been in production since 2003. It
produces 8,000,000 carats (1,600 kg) of diamonds annually. This mine sells $100,000,000 worth of gemstones a year.
Diavik diamond mine is expected to be in production for 16-20 years and is currently responsible for providing 5%
of the worlds gemstone quality diamonds.
The Jericho mine is located near the north end of Contwoyto Lake in
West Kitikmeot in the Canadian Territory of Nunavut. This was Nunavut’s first and only diamond mine. It was
operated by the Tahera Diamond Corporation, which had been researching the viability of operating the mine year
round in Nunavit's harsh climate. The mine produced 780,000 carats (156 kg) of diamonds from Kimberlite, that was
mined from 2006 to 2008. Jericho diamond mine was purchased by Shear Diamonds in 2010, who announced a plan to
reopen the mine, due to start in 2012.
The Snap Lake mine is owned and operated by the gargantuan South
African mining company. You know a diamond deposit is seriously valuable when DeBeers decides to get a piece of the
action. This mine was opened in mid 2008, as DeBeers first diamond mine outside Africa and Canada’s first
completely underground diamond mine. Its lifetime is expected to be 20 years.
This particular mine is located beneath a lake in the James Bay
Lowlands of Northern Ontario. The nearest community is the coastal village of Attawapiskat. Snap Lake diamond mine,
which requires a great deal of technological innovation to extract the Canadian diamonds from beneath tons of
water, apparently has a rich deposit of gems that will produce for at least eight years.
The mine was featured on The History Channel television series Ice
Road Truckers, that premiered in 2007, as well as on the Canadian Discovery channel show Daily Planet.
One of the great things about this mine is they have gone a long way
towards making Canada's indigenous people, Indians and Eskimos, quite wealthy. The mines provide high-income jobs
with an average salary of $63,000. These are permanent jobs that are currently handled by aboriginal peoples such
as the Dene First Nation. When you buy Canadian diamonds you are also supporting an indigenous culture.
|Diamond mines in Canada provide high-income jobs
Canada's indigenous people, such as Indians and Eskimos.
Diamond Mines Rush
The relatively recent discoveries of these diamond mines have caused
a flurry of excitement, not unlike the Yukon Gold Rush. According to Statistics Canada, by February 2004
prospecting companies from all over the world laid claim to more than 70 million acres in the Northwest Territories
and Nunavut. The most dramatic increase in diamond prospecting is in Nunavut in Northern Ontario, where the number
of prospecting permits grew to 1,518 in 2004 from just 190 in 2003.
According to Statistics Canada, 13.8 million carats of diamonds worth
approximately $2.8 billion were mined in Canada between 1998 and 2002. This means that every day, Canadian mines
produce $1.5 million worth of diamonds, which is the equivalent of a 1.5 kilogram bag full of the gems. Overall,
Canada now produces 15% of the world's diamonds in total and this trend towards prosperity will increase providing
the weather cooperates and these mines are always allowed to operate with year round efficiency.
Two of the newest Canadian diamond mines are Victor Diamond Mine and
Gahcho Kue Diamond Project. Victor Mine is DeBeers 2nd diamond mine in Canada, which was opened in
2008. The readers of the Mining Magazine chose Victor Mine in 2009 as the Mine of the Year.
The Gahcho Kue Project is a joint venture between Mountain Province
Diamonds Inc and DeBeers Canada. The two partner companies approved the project in 2001 and are preparing a plan to
go ahead with the mining project. The mine is expected to produce around 4.5 million carats (900 kg) of diamonds
annually for about 11 years. But it could be another year before the mine construction starts, expected to take 2