Until now, the prospect of Canadian diamonds was just a lot of talk. But now, with the first mine, Ekati (owned by BHP-Billiton) open for three years, and the second mine, Diavik (owned by Rio Tinto and Aber Resources, which is partially owned by Tiffany) due to open soon, we are starting to really see Canadian stones on the market.
With only one mine currently in production, Canada is already ranked sixth in terms of value among world producers and is projected to be third within a few years. Several companies are offering diamonds that are guaranteed to be Canadian, including certificates from the government of the Northwest Territories and Canadian symbols like the polar bear or the maple leaf inscribed on the stone’s girdle. Canadian diamonds are becoming more well-known also. We have even heard of consumers asking for them— mostly, it seems, because they want to avoid so-called “conflict” diamonds.
The first Canadian diamond rush occurred in the early 1990s in the Northwest Territories. If all goes according to plan, there will be at least three diamond mines there, including one from De Beers. Now there’s a second diamond rush taking place all over Canada that might outdo the first, following the discovery of diamonds in Nunavut and Quebec. There’s also prospecting in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan. At the recent mining conference in New York, Toronto Stock Exchange listing manager David Babstock told the Diamond Registry Bulletin that there are about ten diamond mining companies currently listed, and about ninety waiting to be listed.
Now we don’t want to give the impression that all ninety of these are going to strike it rich like DiaMet. But it’s certainly possible that some of them will and it just shows that Canada is likely to be a major force in the future.