Diavik, the new mine in the Northwest Territories of Canada, will open ahead of schedule, in February 2003, as opposed to the previously reported April 2003 timeframe.
The Diavik mine is expected to yield as much as 102 million carats worth more than $6 billion over 20 years.
However, De Beers’ only diamond mine in the North will start production a year later than planned due to permitting delays. It will now start in 2006, rather than 2005.
In related news, Tiffany will open its first diamond cutting and sorting plant early next year in the Northwest Territories, the same week production starts at Diavik.
A few years ago Tiffany purchased almost 15 percent of stock from Aber Resources, 40% owner of Diavik. It also has a 10-year contract worth at least $500 million with Aber to buy top-quality rough stones from the Diavik mine.
We have found that a lot of people with certain ethical standards insist on only buying Canadian diamonds because they are worried about buying conflict stones. We have enormous respect for these people and the high moral values they represent. Still, African economies can not afford everyone acting this way, because so many African countries depend on diamond revenue.